Seventeen years after the start of construction, Switzerland celebrated the completion of the world's longest rail tunnel with a day of festivities on June 1. Keith Barrow joined six heads of state, 190 politicians, 600 artists and performers and 1000 Swiss citizens to witness this historic event.
With the handover of the Gotthard Base Tunnel to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) on June 1, this mammoth project has entered the final phase before the start of commercial services on December 11. Keith Barrow looks at how SBB is preparing for a smooth transition to the new infrastructure.
THE Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated by the president of the Swiss Federation Mr Johann Schneider-Ammann and federal transport minister Mrs Doris Leuthard on June 1 with simultaneous ceremonies at the northern and southern portals of the world's longest main line railway tunnel.
The Gotthard base tunnel is due to be handed over by the construction company to the operator on June 1 in readiness for the start of operations in December. Anitra Green looks at some of the issues involved with Renzo Simoni of AlpTransit and Peter Jedelhauser of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).
SWISS Federal Railways (SBB) railfreight subsidiary SBB Cargo and AlpTransit Gotthard operated the first freight train through the Gotthard Base Tunnel on January 16, marking another milestone in the test programme for the 57km tunnel, which is due to open in December.
ALPTRANSIT Gotthard says more than 500 test runs have been successfully carried out in the 57km Gotthard Base Tunnel during the first 50 days of trial operations as final preparations are made for the handover of the tunnel to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).