Around 1800, it takes travellers at least ten days to cover the 310 kilometres from Basel to the Italian border; in bad weather the trip can take upwards of twenty. The opening of the road over the Gotthard in 1830 cuts that time drastically: to just 36 hours (without breaks) by coach and ship from Basel to Chiasso. Once the Gotthard railway line is complete, the figure is slashed once again, to 8 hours and 15 minutes. Over the course of the 20th century, the journey time progressively falls to 4 hours and 20 minutes. Today, thanks to the NRLA, it is just 3 hours and 40 minutes in a comfortable seat: fully 65 times faster than in 1800.
« Train departure times are governed by the station clocks, which are synchronised with the federal telegraph clock (Bern time). »Gotthard Railway, Timetable, 1 June 1885