Boring of the world's second largest communications tunnel has been completed in Japan, linking the main island of Honshu with the southern island of Kyushu.
AERIAL VIEW of city.
AERIAL VIEW tunnel entrance.
INTERIOR Tunnel with chairs and workmen in good clothes. Man presses button. (2 shots)
SV Workmen cheering.
SV Crewleader of one side shakes hands with crewleader of other side and moves through to meet workers on other side.
GV Foreman smashes barrel of drink.
GV Tunnel crew celebration party.
Initials VS.23.50 VS. 0.04
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Background: Boring of the world's second largest communications tunnel has been completed in Japan, linking the main island of Honshu with the southern island of Kyushu.
The last section of rock was blasted on Friday (15 March) allowing crews working from both ends to meet. The 11.7 mile (18.7 km) tunnel will be completed by December this year and will be used by high-speed trains.
The tunnel is part of the Okayama-Fukuoka express line, linking the westernmost major city of Japan -- Fukuoka -- with Tokyo.
Originally it was part of an even larger plan to link every major city in Japan with the "Super Express" lines, but the scheme has been scrapped because of the world energy crisis.
The tunnel cost 20,000 million Yen (30 million sterling) to build, and is second in length only to the 12.25 mile (19.8 km) Simplon Tunnel in Switzerland.
A traditional celebration was held by the tunnel workmen when the breakthrough as made. It had been a tough project because the type of rock in the area did not allow the use of explosives. A mechanical "Mole" driller was used instead.