The Lötschberg enters operation

8 December 2007
A big step for the NRLA – and Valais
A big step for the NRLA – and Valais

The Lötschberg Base Tunnel brings Valais and the rest of Switzerland closer together. In December 2007 the first regular passenger train speeds through the new tube. (09.12.2007, Keystone)

On 9 December 2007, the BLS commences operations in the new tunnel. The control centre in Spiez monitors the tunnel and the trains. The single-track section of the tunnel, measuring 21 kilometres out of a total of 34.6, proves challenging. It is operating at 80 per cent capacity, rising to 100 per cent on peak days. Passenger trains can travel at up to 250 kilometres an hour. Each train has a time slot available to make its journey. If it misses it, it must use the mountain route or wait for the next free slot.

« The project forms part of the future high-speed rail line, a new type of line that already exists in Europe and will be linked up to form an international network. »

F. Kilchenmann, Managing Director of BLS AlpTransit Ltd, Summary of the preparatory project for the Lötschberg base line, foreword, 16.06.1905
133 video cameras

installed in the tunnel to monitor traffic

56 kilometres

of handrails fitted inside the tunnel to aid evacuation

110 rooms

containing automated fire extinguisher systems along the Lötschberg Base Tunnel

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