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Anything in the pipeline about the new Gotthard?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 03:33:03 PM EST
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Switzerland to rework relations with EU at Gotthard tunnel opening - FT.com

Switzerland will lobby top European leaders attending this week's opening of the world's longest rail tunnel for faster progress on reworking the country's relations with the EU.

Renegotiation has been held up by Britain's referendum on membership in the bloc. The Gotthard Base Tunnel ceremony on Wednesday would be a "good opportunity" to discuss the challenges facing Swiss-EU relations, Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss foreign minister, told the Financial Times.

Those expected to attend include German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

The 57km Gotthard Base rail tunnel, which cost SFr12bn ($12bn) to build, will cut travelling times across the Swiss Alps and is part of one of Europe's most heavily used transport corridors, connecting the ports of Rotterdam in northern Europe and Genoa in the south.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 03:45:03 PM EST
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I didn't plan anything, but here are some comments on related news in the past few months:

  • Swiss Federal Railways SBB had the sense to activate the new train control system ETCS L2 on the approaches before the base tunnel opens. Turns out there were still teething problems to sort out, primarily compatibility issues. Which is rather sad, considering that ETCS L2 has been in operation for years elsewhere in Switzerland.

  • The new base tunnel won't realise its full potential for years: in long-distance passenger traffic, the new trains are still in the making; and for freight traffic, it won't be until 2020 that tunnels and overbridges along the approaches will be modified for 4 m corner height.

  • At least a solution to the other capacity problem of scheduling fast passenger and slow freight traffic, both more frequent than originally envisaged, has progressed with tests of 1,500 m long freight trains. (In practice, this means that two freight trains that arrived separately can be coupled for passing the Gotthard in a single time slot.)

  • Over the past three decades, Swiss citizens consistently supported rail projects and didn't support major road projects in referenda. But now a plan to double the Gotthard Road Tunnel has been approved. This will surly mean a safety improvement, but also a capacity increase and thus more trucks in trans-Alpine transit traffic... (I have been in the Gotthard area and the current level of traffic is bad enough for the valleys.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 04:38:35 AM EST
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