Results for Operations

1847

An iron road made of steel

The rail is not a standard design: it goes through multiple variants in the course of its development.

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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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19 May 1906

The second tunnel

After the Gotthard, the Simplon Tunnel becomes the second rail line through the Swiss Alps. Now, western Switzerland is connected to the south.

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15 July 1913

Link through the Lötschberg

The Lötschberg line and its tunnel connect Switzerland’s western plateau with Italy.

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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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1924

Water replaces coal

Electrification of the Gotthard line is completed in 1924. Switzerland now gets the energy to power its trains from its own hydroelectric plants rather than coal from Prussia.

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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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1991

The problem with slots

Planning rail traffic is a complex business: trains travelling on the same tracks can only overtake at a small number of places. The principal planning unit is known as a slot.

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1996

Rotterdam–Genoa

Expansion of the Rotterdam–Genoa freight axis makes slow progress. Italy lags behind on sea-port links.

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9 December 2007

The Lötschberg enters operation

With the opening of the Lötschberg Base Tunnel, a first section of the NRLA becomes operational.

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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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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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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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12 August 2017

A vulnerable transport system

When the track subsides at Rastatt in summer 2017, traffic grinds to a halt. The collapse highlights the fragility of Europe’s rail system.

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2018

A language in themselves

Every wagon, coach and locomotive bears an assortment of cryptic symbols, letters and numbers without which the railway could not operate.

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