Shorter transit times and increased capacity for freight.
With the completion of the NRLA project, Europe will have a modern, highly-efficient North-South railway corridor through the Alps – an eco-friendly alternative to road-borne freight and passenger traffic.
Switzerland is keeping its promise by creating up-to-date rail infrastructure with more capacity for international freight traffic. It is also a contribution towards climate-friendly mobility in Europe. The Ceneri base tunnel represents the final component of NRLA and completes the level-track rail route through the Alps: it brings north and south closer together. After a transitional period, six freight trains per hour will be able travel through the Gotthard base tunnel in each direction when full operations start up; four trains will continue through the Ceneri to Chiasso and two will run via the Luino line.
At the same time, Switzerland is increasing the clearance height on the Basel to Chiasso and Luino rail corridor to 4 metres to accommodate semi-trailers and containers.
In future 750-meter long freight trains will transport up to 2,100 tonnes from north to south and up to 2,000 tonnes from south to north along the Gotthard axis. From 2021 the capacity will be steadily increased by more than 3,000 semi-trailers per day. This will save time and money and will make a significant contribution towards the shift from road to rail.
The NRLA and the 4-metre corridor will add greater efficiency, reliability and transport capacity to the Rotterdam-Genoa rail corridor. Freight trains will reach their destination around two hours faster, making rail freight more competitive than road transport.