SWITZERLAND: A first blast on March 10 launched the main drive for the 15·4 km Ceneri base tunnel, which will complete a low-gradient north – south route through the Alps in conjunction with the Gotthard base tunnel.

Construction is being undertaken by a consortium of Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua, Cossi SpA and Cossi SA, with excavation scheduled for completion in 2016, and opening at the end of 2019.

AlpTransit Gotthard expects to breakthrough the east bore of the 57 km Gotthard base tunnel this autumn, for opening in late 2017.