The abortive project begins

Lower route is faster
Lower route is faster

The difference between the new base tunnel and the original tunnel higher up is vividly highlighted by the 1975 drawing forming the logo for the first – ultimately unsuccessful – Gotthard Base Tunnel project. (1975, SBB Historic)

The first detailed construction project for a Gotthard Base Tunnel is drawn up in the first half of the 1970s. Its aim is to increase goods transport capacity. In 1971 the Federal Council instructs the SBB to develop a project based on the report of the rail tunnel commission; construction is scheduled to begin in 1975. The economic crisis and the resulting decline in goods traffic lead to the project being halted. It is also blocked by western and eastern Switzerland, citing the eastern Alps line undertaking of 1878, which provides for a north-south link in the east of the country.

« On a long-term view, the realisation of an Alpine transport concept is also desirable from a military perspective. »

Major General Borel, Head of the General Staff, Letter to the Federal Office of Transport, 05.09.1973
47 kilometres

length of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the SBB project of 1972.

12 mio extra tonnes

of freight transport capacity on the new line.

30 percent

reduction in the volume of transit traffic conveyed by the BLS and SBB in the crisis year of 1975: a key argument against going ahead with the project.

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