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 the 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 the same as the city of Berne.
The flat route allows efficient rail transport of freight as well as shortening journey times in national and international passenger traffic: the new routes cut passenger journey 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 made possible by the straight route with no tight curves and no level crossings on the overground sections.
To strengthen the public transport network and transfer as much freight traffic as possible from road to rail, the infrastructure must be modernised and expanded. The competitive position of the railways in freight traffic can thereby be significantly strengthened. This favours the transfer of traffic from road to rail and consequently enables implementation of the legislation for conservation of the Alpine environment. With construction of the new Gotthard rail link, Switzerland is implementing one of Europe's largest environmental-protection projects.