The Europe-Africa Express

Stopping off in the Gotthard
Stopping off in the Gotthard

Travelling by high-speed train from Berlin through the Gotthard and on to Cairo and Khartoum – that is the vision conjured up in 1947 by the engineer Eduard Gruner. From the «Gotthard Base Tunnel», lifts carry passengers up to the ski area of Sedrun. (1947, ETH Zurich)

In 1947, engineer Eduard Gruner publishes his vision for a railway in the journal «Prisma»: a Gotthard tunnel to connect Amsteg with Biasca by the year 2000. It will cut the journey time from Basel to Chiasso to just two hours, settle the «rivalry between rail and road in favour of rail», and render air travel in central Europe unnecessary. A lift will ferry passengers up an 830-metre shaft from a rail station in the tunnel to the elegant sports resort of Sedrun. The fast rail line's flagship train is the «Europe-Africa Express», offering a dining car, «shower rooms, a hairdresser's, kiosk, bar and telephone». The first business study into the Gotthard Base Tunnel is conducted just two years after Gruner's publication.

« The Express travels from Basel to Chiasso in two hours. »

Eduard Gruner, Prisma journal, 01.08.1947

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