While pencil pushers the world over pray for any breakthrough at work that might make a ripple of interest in their flat cubicle sea, tunnel drillmen rely on literal breakthroughs to bring life to the office.
At the final section of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, far below the craggy Swiss Alps, a drillman clad in orange safety gear takes up his workstation on rocks dislodged by the perforating power of a mammoth bit.
Man and his machines moved 28 million tons of mountain so that commuters can cruise beneath the Alps. The final breakthrough, pictured above, completes the excavation portion of the project; lining the tunnel and installing its infrastructure follows.
The 35-mile Gotthard Base burrow will be open for traffic in 2016. It will be the longest rail tunnel in the world.
While their jobs don't make for exciting photos, pencil pushers and bean counters share credit with their burrow-based brethren for doing the paperwork on the $9.83 billion project.