Erstfeld visitor centre to open in 2006

In 2006, a visitor centre operated by The AlpTransit Gotthard Company will also be opened by the north portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Erstfeld. An exhibition area of some 400 square metres will provide information about construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel as well as the Canton of Uri through which it passes.

The AlpTransit Gotthard Company and the Canton of Uri had jointly planned an information and visitor centre by the north portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Erstfeld. First steps of the planning process were already initiated in spring 1999. A fundamental review of the project has now demonstrated that since then the political environment, and consequently also the financial situation, have radically changed both for The AlpTransit Gotthard Company and the Canton of Uri.

The AlpTransit Gotthard Company and the Canton of Uri as partners acknowledge the new situation and have agreed to modify the structure of the exhibition building as well as to redefine the responsibilities for operation of the visitor centre. Instead of having an unlimited service life, a building is now planned which will serve for the time until the Gotthard Base Tunnel becomes operational. This decision has no effect on the size of the exhibition space or the information content and attractiveness of the exhibition. An area of around 400 square metres will be used for presentations by the Canton of Uri and The AlpTransit Gotthard Company. The exhibition will be devoted to construction of the world's longest railway tunnel and illustrate various aspects of tunnel building. Within the scope of this exhibition, the Canton of Uri has an opportunity to present itself attractively.

In addition, a gallery and walkway will allow visitors to explore the large construction site of the NRLA at Erstfeld on foot, and guided tours below ground will also be offered.

The visitor centre at Erstfeld will be built and operated by The AlpTransit Gotthard Company. Construction is planned to start at the end of 2005, with opening early in 2006.