Planning

The planning of the NRLA is no less important than its construction. The first project for a Gotthard base tunnel dates back to 1961. From that time onwards, plans are drawn up for routes, tunnel variants, approaches, new buildings and goods and passenger capacities – always with particular attention paid to their funding. Engineers have to incorporate countless imponderables in their plans, from the type of rock to be cut – the Piora Basin in the Gotthard is the stuff of legend – to local resistance to the new structures. Compromises have to be made along the way.

Keywords on this topic Planning

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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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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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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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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1988

«Rail with road»

In an influential report, Infras recommends an internationally coordinated approach, and shifting road traffic onto the railways.

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1989

Order, build, operate

For the NRLA’s construction, the Confederation separates infrastructure from operations. The new project management system is a success.

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1 January 1999

The SBB becomes a limited company

Rail Reform 1 aims at a gradual liberalisation of rail transport.

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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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