Freight News, Rail

New era beckons for transalpine rail freight

[ June 6, 2016   //   ]

The 57-km, SFr12.2 billion Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland was officially opened on 1 June. Currently, the longest rail tunnel in the world, it is expected to greatly ease the passage of freight trains from northern Europe to Italy, allowing longer and heavier freight trains to be operated by fewer locomotives than on the present Gotthard Tunnel, which uses steeply grade spirals to gain the necessary height.

Ultimately, the route could  be used by 260 trains a day, but this is dependent on completion of two other base tunnels, the Ceneri and the Lötschberg, expected in about 2020, to complete New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA).