The train feels the strain

Taking to the tracks
Taking to the tracks

The BLS anniversary locomotive is rolled out at the festivities marking ten years of the Lötschberg Base Tunnel in Frutigen. (2017, BLS AG)

After ten years in operation, the Lötschberg Base Tunnel has notched up some impressive figures. It is used by approximately 30,000 trains a year, and around 50 passenger and 60 goods trains every day. In the space of a decade, the number of people travelling through the tunnel daily has risen from 7,600 to more than 13,000, while goods traffic has quadrupled. Utilisation is high - too high at peak times - but there is no way to significantly boost capacity, as part of the tunnel line is single-track only. Planning for an upgrade has already begun; it is estimated to take around 13 years.

« Over 98% of trains scheduled on the base line run on time. »

Lötschberg Committee, Fact Sheet No. 8, 23.05.2017
314'814 number of trains

that use the Base Tunnel in the first ten years.

408 per cent

increase in goods transport volume between 1999 and 2016.

74 per cent

increase in passenger numbers between 1999 and 2016.

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