ZURICH – The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest train tunnel in the world, enters into service on 11 December 2016. Prior to this, the record-breaking construction will be more accessible than ever, but only for a limited period: from 2 August 2016, passengers may descend into the once-in-a-century construction on exclusive tunnel rides – disembarkation in the depths of the mountain included. The special “Gottardino” train only runs until 27 November 2016 and the number of tickets is limited.
The test operation of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is in full swing. The handover of the longest train tunnel in the world by constructor Alp Transit Gotthard AG to its future operators, Swiss Federal Railways SBB, will take place in two months’ time, on 1 June 2016, after 17 years of construction.
The tracks of the Gotthard base tunnel point to the future of the trans-Alpine railway. (PRNewsFoto/Swiss Travel System AG).
Catching a train deeper into the mountain than ever before
Before regular operations of the Gotthard Base Tunnel commence on 11 December 2016, SBB is giving customers the opportunity to admire the interior of the once-in-a-century construction. From 2 August to 27 November 2016, the special “Gottardino” train will carry visitors to a record depth in the rock of the Swiss Alps. A special stop will be made at the multifunction station in Sedrun. Here, 800 metres below the surface, a tour will vividly demonstrate the dimensions of the gigantic tunnel system.
Once trains are travelling through the Gotthard Base Tunnel at high speed, a stop in the middle of the tunnel will no longer be possible. Thanks to the new north-south connection, regions and neighbouring countries on both sides of the Gotthard Tunnel will move closer together. From the end of 2016, passengers will cross the Alps in the new tunnel in only 20 minutes and reach their destination faster than ever.
Photo caption: North portal at Erstfeld: Commissioning of the Gotthard Base Tunnel (Credit: Maurus Huwyler) (PRNewsFoto/Swiss Travel System AG).