ON April 22 the King of Italy opened the new railway line joining Bologna and Florence. Known as the “Direttissima”, this line is 21 miles shorter than the old line known as the “Porretana”. The total distance is 61 miles, of which 23 miles are underground. Many bridges and viaducts have had to be constructed but the outstanding feature is the Apennine Tunnel, 11 miles 882 yards in length, which is the longest tunnel in the world with a double track. The Simplon tunnel is slightly longer, but this consists of two parallel tunnels each with a single track. The Apennine tunnel is a straight line for the whole length and, half way through, a station has been built with four lines for manoeuvring purposes. Electric traction is being used, the locomotives taking direct current at 3,000 volts. The total cost of the line has been about £13,000,000, while the saving of time on the journey between Bologna and Florence is about one hour and a half.