Results for Gotthard

1805

The first paved road through the mountains

The NRLA follows on from a centuries-old tradition of transport routes through the Swiss Alps.

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1853

The long-standing committee

The legendary Gotthard mountain range also gives its name to a committee. Dedicated to promoting development of the Alpine axis, it was formed in 1853.

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1868

Ticino sets the pace

The peripheral region of Ticino boasts some magnificent historic stations. The locals are quicker off the mark than their counterparts in central Switzerland, building while money is still available.

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22 May 1882

Inauguration of the Gotthard Tunnel

When it opens, the first tunnel through the Gotthard is the longest rail tunnel in the world. It is mostly financed by foreign capital.

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1897

The Gotthard railway in literature

Spitteler, Moeschlin and Schädelin are just some of the writers captivated by the Gotthard railway.

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1 May 1909

Nationalisation of the Gotthard Railway Company

The SBB is created following the nationalisation of Switzerland’s major private railways. The last to be integrated is the Gotthard, which proves to be the most profitable line.

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1914

The battle with nature

Railways are a comparatively environmentally friendly means of transport. In the Alps, however, they come up against the forces of nature.

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1947

The Europe-Africa Express

An engineer has a vision: from Basel to Chiasso by rail in just two hours – time enough for a shower, a haircut and some telephone calls.

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1957

Rail tourism

Rail is a popular means of transport. Switzerland’s railway lines contribute to its success as a tourist destination.

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31 January 1962

The Gotthard Base Tunnel

The Confederation moots the idea of a «Gotthard Base Rail Tunnel», and commissions Elektro-Watt to develop a project.

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25 June 1965

Car vs rail

Rail has held onto its lead for a long time, but with the opening of the Gotthard road tunnel in 1980 road transport through the Alps mounts a strong challenge.

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20 June 1970

The tunnel plan

Specialists arguing for a Gotthard Base Tunnel point to Switzerland’s important position as a European transit nation.

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1971

The abortive project begins

The plan for the first Gotthard Base Tunnel is thwarted by the economic crisis of the mid-1970s.

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20 December 1979

Gotthard or Splügen?

A tunnel through the Gotthard would be more profitable, but the Splügen would bring more benefits to the regional economy, the experts conclude.

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1985

The Gotthard myth

The Gotthard enjoys mythical status in Switzerland. It symbolises Switzerland’s defensive potential, but also its transit function.

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1985

A dissertation revives a railway

Rarely has an academic dissertation caused such a political stir. Hans-Jörg Bertschi’s work lends new momentum to the NRLA.

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12 July 1988

Five options

Lötschberg-Simplon, Gotthard, Ypsilon or one of two Splügen options? The Federal Council decides to pursue the Gotthard and Lötschberg-Simplon options.

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4 October 1991

Parliament backs the NRLA

Parliament’s backing for the construction of the NRLA is based on regional, environmental and European policy arguments.

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1992

Approval from western Switzerland

The main beneficiaries of the base tunnels through the Gotthard and Lötschberg are Zurich, Bern, Valais and Ticino. But the French-speaking cantons of western Switzerland also gain from the NRLA.

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27 September 1992

Yes to the NRLA

Swiss voters approve the NRLA proposal by a clear majority, paving the way for construction of the new Gotthard, Ceneri and Lötschberg tunnels.

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4 October 1993

Work begins

The NRLA is far more than just the Gotthard Base Tunnel, but the first exploratory boring for the NRLA project takes place at the Gotthard.

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20 February 1995

Green light for the network option

The Federal Council confirms the network option for the NRLA, clearing the way for construction of the Gotthard-Ceneri and Lötschberg axes.

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18 April 1996

Uri’s concerns

The canton of Uri is particularly affected by construction of the Gotthard axis. It wants the approach route to the rail tunnel to run underground. Negotiations with the Confederation run far from smoothly.

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29 November 1998

Yes to public transport funding

Funding for the NRLA is secured: over 30 billion francs are to be spent modernising Switzerland’s rail infrastructure.

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18 December 1998

Supervision

Responsibility for ensuring that the large-scale project proceeds efficiently and in accordance with the law lies with parliament’s supervisory delegation.

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27 November 2000

Geology and surveying

Tunnel construction depends on scientific knowledge. Geology helps to find ways through the rock.

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16 April 2004

The costs

Funding for the project is hotly debated. The main issue is rising costs.

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2005

Control in the tunnel

A new control system transmits movement commands via a digital radio network to a screen in the driver’s cab.

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6 September 2006

Breakthrough in the Gotthard

The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the centrepiece of the NRLA. The first breakthrough by a boring machine takes place in the east bore.

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15 October 2008

Traversing the Piora Basin

The Piora Basin, with its sugar-grain rock, threatens to endanger construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

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2011

Using the tunnels to get away

The vast majority of passengers taking the train for their journey through the Alps are travelling not for business but for pleasure.

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16 May 2012

No to the Porta Alpina

It is a popular vision: the Porta Alpina to connect Sedrun and the Surselva via a lift to the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

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23 August 2013

A million visitors

During construction of the Gotthard and Lötschberg Base Tunnels, the general public have an opportunity to view the inside of the mountain. Huge numbers do so.

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1 October 2015

Tests on the Gotthard

There is a lot of technology in the new Gotthard line. Extensive tests are carried out to ensure it works properly.

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1 June 2016

High-profile guests at the opening ceremony

No expense is spared at the Gotthard Base Tunnel inauguration ceremony in 2016. Merkel, Hollande and Renzi are in attendance, but not the heads of the EU.

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2017

43,152 trains

In the opening months, traffic in the new Gotthard Base Tunnel occasionally grinds to a halt. The SBB lay on extra trains to cope.

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1 January 2017

Mind the doors

The escape doors installed in the Gotthard tunnel are the best there is. They owe their construction to the NRLA. One major innovation led to multiple minor innovations.

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2021

Whither the mountain routes?

Not everyone is a winner from the NRLA. The future of the world-famous Gotthard mountain route through the Urseren Valley and the Leventina is still undecided.

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