Skip to main content

Switzerland: First passengers for world's longest tunnel


Today's the day for Switzerland's annual rail schedule change—and this year it's a big one, with an hour cut off schedules between north and south as passenger trains begin using the St. Gotthard Base Tunnel.

The 57+ kilometer tunnel runs through the Alps at the base, allowing a flat high-speed way to link northern and southern Switzerland. It is the longest and deepest (over 2300 m) tunnel in the world. Besides faster passenger schedules, it is expected to have a big effect on European freight. Because the original Gotthard tunnel, high in the Alps, has been at full capacity for years, much freight has had to pass over the Alps by truck, on winding dangerous roads.

Construction of the tunnel began in 1994, and was completed earlier this year, several months ahead of schedule. Freight has been moving through the tunnel since June. For more information and pictures, click HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (1)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

That sure is a long tunnel, and from a country that likes to make them as much as the prairie dogs I see on the plains.  I would think ventilation would be a problem in such a long tunnel.  Would you know if the trains need their own oxygen system?  Having driven through the Swiss tunnels by car before, which were about 15 km long as I recall, the air was extremely bad in them and made me regret not driving the scenic route over those windy roads across the mountains.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Link copied to your clipboard.