Phase 1
1882 - 1960

Growth in traffic

The first tunnels through the Gotthard, Simplon and Lötschberg mountains are built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Traffic levels then…

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Phase 2
1961 - 1983

Idea and planning

Politicians and engineers develop a plan for a new rail tunnel linking the north and south of Switzerland in the 1960s. The primary motives behind…

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Phase 3
1983 - 1992

Planning and referendum

Politicians take up the NRLA plans once again in the 1980s. Public awareness of environmental issues is rising as a result of forest dieback. The plan…

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Phase 4
1992 - 2020

Planning and realisation

Planning proceeds at full speed from 1992. Exploratory boring starts in the mountains. Construction officially begins in 1999, with miners and boring…

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