Gotthard Base Tunnel derailment (Photo SBB CFF FFS)

SWITZERLAND: SBB has confirmed that it expects to reopen the Gotthard Base Tunnel fully on September 2, bringing to an end more than a year of disruption caused by a derailment of a freight train in August 2023.

According to the national railway, repair works in the western bore of the tunnel are progressing well, and trial operations will begin in the coming weeks.

A key ambition ahead of the reopening is the introduction of an inter-city service linking Zürich and Lugano every 30 min with a journey time of less than 2 h.

As part of the testing ahead of the formal reopening, from mid-August scheduled trains that are booked to run from south to north through the Gotthard Base Tunnel will again run through the west tube, rather than sharing the eastern bore that was much less affected. In addition, some trains that are currently being routed via the legacy line over the Gotthard Pass — now branded by SBB as the Gotthard Panoramastrecke — will revert to using the western bore to pass beneath the Alps.