Only with the 15.4-kilometres-long base tunnel under the Ceneri will the continuous flat route from Altdorf to Lugano become reality. After the Gotthard and Lötschberg base tunnels, the Ceneri Base Tunnel is Switzerland's third-largest railway-tunnel project.
Like the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the Ceneri Base Tunnel also consists of two single-track tubes around 40 metres apart, which are linked to each other every 325 metres by cross-passages. Because of the tunnel's shorter length, no track crossovers or multifunction stations are needed.
At the request of the canton of Ticino, to serve regional traffic, the Locarno – Lugano «Bretella» will be implemented. This will provide a direct link between Lugano and Locarno and thereby reduce the journey time from today's 58 minutes to 30 minutes.
To link the Ceneri Base Tunnel with the existing railway lines, various structures were built at the Camorino hub, including a new four-lane bridge over the A2 motorway and two single-track railway viaducts over the four-lane cantonal road.
The Ceneri Base Tunnel is scheduled to become operational at the end of 2020.