Crowning it all was the opening towards the end of the year of the world\u2019s longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Both the new chairwoman of SBB\u2019s board of directors, Ms Monika Ribar, and CEO Mr Andreas Meyer agreed that it was \u201can emotional but successful year.\u201d\r\nOperating income was up by 2.3% at SFr 9bn ($US 9bn), mainly due to property sales, better financial performance and a recovery in freight. Operating profit fell by 6.1% to SFr 288m, but consolidated net income was still up by 55% at SFr 381m.\r\nInvestment in rail infrastructure from SBB\u2019s own funds amounted to SFr 123m, while public-sector funding rose by 7.7% to SFr 2.5bn due to higher maintenance and operating costs as well as the opening of the new Gotthard tunnel and the cross-city link in Z\u00fcrich.\r\nPassenger traffic earnings increased by 6.7% to SFr 139m. Meanwhile SBB Cargo returned to profit by making a small surplus of SFr 1m after a loss of SFr 22m in 2015, despite the challenging situation in the domestic and export freight markets. This was mainly due to growth at SBB Cargo International, improved productivity and reduced structural costs at SBB Cargo Switzerland.\r\nPunctuality was the highest in five years at 88.8%. Opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel has improved punctuality on the north-south axis, although there is still a need for improvement especially in cross-border traffic with Italy and with rolling stock reliability. The general improvement has been achieved despite more construction work on the network, as Meyer pointed out with some pride.\r\nAs for the future, SBB\u2019s Railfit 20\/30 cost reduction programme is working well and expansion projects in the Geneva area are well on the way with the L\u00e9man Express and L\u00e9man 2030 schemes.