ÅF connecting Switzerland
A 15.4 kilometre long tunnel under Monte Ceneri will nearly halve the travelling time between Locarno and Lugano. With this project ÅF contributes to a sustainable traffic development for the Ticino region.
The New Railway Link through the Alps, NRLA, will provide a faster north-south rail connection in Switzerland. On June 1, 2016 the Gotthard Base Tunnel was completed and full train service began on December 11, 2016. This project included a twin tube, single track railway tunnel, connecting Erstfeld with Bodio. The opening of the next phase, a critical 15.4 kilometer long rail link base tunnel under Monte Ceneri, is scheduled for 2020 and will complete the new level route from Erstfeld to Lugano.
Similar to the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the Ceneri Base Tunnel consists of two single-track tunnels, connecting the Piano di Magadino (near Bellinzona) with Lugano. The distance between the single tubes is about 40 meters. The longer Gotthard Tunnel includes cross passages linking the two tunnels every 325 meters and a connection on the north and south ends to the existing main train line system of the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways). This new link is being constructed at the request of the Canton of Ticino in order to meet its long-term regional traffic needs. The connection will reduce the journey time between Locarno and Lugano from today's 59 minutes to only 31 minutes enabling the entire region to become one greater metropolitan area.
Because the Ceneri Tunnel is shorter than the Gotthard Tunnel, track crossovers or multifunction stations are not required. A bifurcation structure, Sarè, will permit future additional traffic links from the NRLA axis to the south, without any interruption to rail traffic.