The construction of the century takes shape
Construction of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) is creating a fast and efficient railway link. At its heart are the two base tunnels under the Gotthard and Ceneri. The new railway link crosses the Alps with minimal gradients and wide curves. At only 550 metres above sea level, the highest point is no higher than the city of Berne.
Shorter journey times
The flat route allows efficient rail transport of goods as well as shorter journey times in national and international passenger traffic. The new routes cut passenger travelling times substantially. The new Gotthard route is a high-speed rail link. Passenger trains can traverse its almost 60 kilometres length at maximum speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour. This is enabled by the straight route with no tight curves and no level crossings on the overground sections.
Transfer from road to rail
To strengthen the public transport network and transfer as much heavy goods traffic as possible from road to rail, the infrastructure must be modernised and expanded. The competitive position of the railways in goods traffic can thereby be significantly strengthened. This favours the transfer of traffic from road to rail and thereby enables implementation of Swiss legislation for conservation of the Alpine environment.
The Gotthard axis of the NRLA is Switzerland's largest-ever construction project. With construction of the new Gotthard rail link, the country is implementing one of Europe's largest environmental protection projects. The flat route contributes to protecting the Alpine environment.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is scheduled to become operational at the end of 2016, the Ceneri Base Tunnel at the end of 2019.