The first timetabled trains will travel through the Gotthard Base Tunnel on December 11, 2016, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has announced.

SBB is planning to hold an official opening ceremony in June 2016 before services start in December.

At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will travel through the Alps between the northern portal of Erstfeld and Bodio in the south, will become the longest rail tunnel in the world once complete, stripping the title from Japan’s 53.85 kilometre Seikan Tunnel.

SBB has said that up to five freight services and two passenger trains will operate through the tunnel per hour in each direction. In November, contractor Transtec Gotthard completed the installation of 290 kilometres of slab track in the tunnel. Commissioning is now well underway, including a huge staff training programme and the switch over to ETCS Level 2.

Since last month, eight new ETR 610 train sets have been progressively brought into service on the route and from the end of 2019, 29 new Stadler-built trains will be introduced onto the north-south corridor.

7 COMMENTS

    • The reason you can only see one track is because it is a twin-bore tunnel. Anyway, when it is finally open, I hope that SBB maintains some passenger services on the classic route via the old spiral tunnels.

      • An hourly service is planned on the old line (roughly from 06.00 to 20.00), with Stadler Flirt EMUs. These trains will also call at more intermediate station than those served by today’s InterRegio trains. Note that passenger traffic on the old line will decrease a lot, from 9.000 people a day today to 900 and less.

    • As Bresm says there are two tubes. The green door in the picture is an entrance to one of 178 cross passages connecting the tubes.

  1. “At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will travel through the Alps between the northern portal of Erstfeld and Bodio in the south, will become the longest rail tunnel in the world once complete, stripping the title from Japan’s 53.85 kilometre Seikan Tunnel.”

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