The Gotthard AlpTransit is a future-oriented railway through the Alps. The Gotthard base tunnel – at 57 kilometres the world’s longest tunnel – is the centrepiece of this new railway link. This 21st century pioneering act will lead to a marked improvement in travel and transport options in the heart of Europe.

With the construction of the New Alp Traverse (NEAT), Switzerland is integrating its railway system into the growing European high-speed railway network. At a cost of about 10 billion Swiss francs, the project opens up new perspectives for train travel through the Alps, bringing the economic centres on both sides of the Alps closer together. The new AlpTransit trains travel at speeds of 200 to 250km/h. More and more people and goods are crossing the Alps and Switzerland wants to master this increasing volume of traffic as far as possible with the railway. Switzerland is setting a milestone in traffic-policy by creating the basis for environmentally-friendly mobility.

The last 20 years has seen the creation of a constantly expanding European network of high-speed railways. Depending upon further development, this could result in about 20,000 km of high-speed systems by the year 2020. Such a network will make train travel an attractive alternative to the car.

And with a journey of less than four hours between two major cities, the railway will also become highly competitive with air travel. The aim is to standardize the entire European railway network in terms of signalization and control systems and thus create a fully efficient transport system.

These photos were taken on the construction site at the north portal of the Gotthard tunnel at Erstfeld.
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