After nearly twenty years of hard work, the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel is finally ready: the Gotthard Base Tunnel has been officially opened on June 1, 2016 (scheduled trains are only running from the December 11, 2016). Trains are now able to reach peak speeds of up to 250 km/h along a 60 kilometer stretch of track right through the heart of the Alps.
Two single track tunnels, both 57 kilometers long, running between Bodio (Ticino) and Erstfeld (Uri) are at the heart of the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA): the Swiss masterpiece of the century. This ingenious shortcut established a direct route that allows traffic to cross the Alps at very high speed, with minimal gradients and gentle curves.
And it's not over here! In 2020, the Monte Ceneri base tunnel will be inaugurated, which will further reduce Ticino's size. It will only take 30 minutes to travel from Locarno to Lugano, while a quarter of an hour will be needed for the Bellinzona-Lugano journey.