The inauguration of the Ceneri base tunnel in southern Switzerland marks the symbolic completion of the Alptransit project.
The inauguration of the Ceneri base tunnel in southern Switzerland on Friday marks the symbolic completion of the Alpine rail link project. The idea to dig the three tunnels under the Alps was approved by Swiss voters in 1992. The Ceneri, which extends over 15.4 km, is not as spectacular as the Gotthard, the world’s longest railway tunnel. But the new tunnel connecting Camorino and Lugano in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino will help extend high-speed rail connections between northern and southern Europe. For example, it will shorten the 3 hour-40-minute Zurich-Milan rail journey by 23 minutes. and play a big role for the mobility of the Italian-speaking canton, slashing travel times between Locarno and Lugano, for example. The inauguration, which was planned for 650 people, will take place in a reduced format. Because of the pandemic the project was also slightly delayed. The first passenger trains will start using the tunnel in December when the timetable is updated. Several long-distance connections will be introduced in April 2021.