Train disruption in Switzerland continues after Gotthard tunnel closure

The Local Switzerland
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Train disruption in Switzerland continues after Gotthard tunnel closure
Investigations are taking place at the tunnel site. Photo: SBB

After a goods train derailed in the Gotthard base tunnel last week, rail passengers in Switzerland have been facing disruption to journeys. Reopening the tunnel is taking longer than expected.


Rail operator SBB initially said that disruption would affect travel on Thursday August 10th. After that, it was announced that the tunnel would remain closed until Wednesday August 16th. 

Now SBB says it is unclear when the tunnel will reopen to rail traffic. 

"The Gotthard base tunnel remains closed to freight and passenger traffic," said SBB.

After the goods train travelling from Italy to Germany came off the tracks at the multifunction point in Faido inside the tunnel around lunchtime on August 10th, rail traffic was severely interrupted. 

Passenger Intercity and Eurocity trains running between German-speaking areas of Switzerland and Ticino, as well as northern Italy, were diverted via the Gotthard panorama route. 

"So far, the diversion of passenger trains has proved successful," said SBB.

SBB said travel times are extended by 60 minutes for national traffic. As international passengers have to change trains in Chiasso, their travel time is extended by around two hours.

There is also less space available for passengers. Double-decker trains can't run on the panorama route so there are about 30 percent fewer seats available on weekends, and space can be tight. "On weekdays, capacity is slightly reduced," said SBB. 

Some trains have also been cancelled. 

Freight traffic is also facing restrictions. SBB said several goods trains remain parked in Switzerland and abroad. 

SBB said experts are not able to say how long the repair work will take, but information on the next steps will be released on Wednesday. 


"The analysis at the accident site is still in progress," the company said.

READ ALSO: Disruption to rail travel in Switzerland after goods train derails 

The rail operator said the derailment damaged the track system as well as a gauge-changing gate. 

Investigating authorities have partially cleared the accident site, although several wagons remain in the tunnel. 

In a statement, an SBB spokesperson asked passengers for their understanding and said the operator "regrets the inconvenience for passengers and customers in national and international traffic."


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