High-profile guests at the opening ceremony

31 May 2016
Rail – the smart way to travel
Rail – the smart way to travel

More than 100,000 visitors celebrate the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in June 2016. It does not actually go into operation until December. Gathered together in a rare show of unity for this group portrait in an SBB carriage are Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Matteo Renzi and Johann Schneider-Ammann. (2016, Keystone)

Switzerland rarely receives as much global attention as it does on 1 June 2016. Journalists from Japan, Kuwait, Chile and China are on hand, while the BBC covers the event in depth. Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, François Hollande and other prominent politicians have taken their seats in the special train. They are full of praise for Switzerland's contribution to advancing European economic integration. Confederation President Johann Schneider-Ammann and Transport Minister Doris Leuthard hail the epoch-making construction as a symbol of openness. The spectacular ceremony marking the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel pulls out all the stops. Top figures from the EU have not found the time to attend.

« It was a lot of work, but the result was well worth it. »

Federal Office of Transport, Final report on the opening festivities, 05.09.2016
160'000 copies of the official guide to the ceremony


160'000 people

enter the competition for a place on board the inaugural train.

1100 invited guests

attend the official opening event on 1 June, accompanied by 300 invited representatives of the media.

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