Month-long Gotthard repairs finish on time

The line was cleared after one month of repairs Keystone

Rail service through the Gotthard tunnel has been restored. The rail line had been closed since June 5, when a landslide damaged the track near Gurtnellen in canton Uri, killing one worker and injuring two others.

This content was published on July 3, 2012 - 09:52 and agencies

The first passenger and freight trains entered the tunnel on Monday just after 10pm, thus meeting the July 2 deadline for restoration of service.

The Gotthard tunnel serves as the main north-south axis through the Alps, with 120 freight trains and 90 passenger trains normally passing through the tunnel per day.

During the month-long repair process, freight trains were rerouted through the Simplon tunnel, while passengers travelling from Zurich south towards Ticino and Italy were required to transfer to buses for the stretch between Flüelen and Göschenen.

In spite of the one-hour increase in travel time caused by changing from train to bus, more than 10,000 people travelled the route daily. In addition, around 1,000 school groups were accommodated during the break in service, according to Swiss Federal Railways.

The cost of repairing the area disturbed by the landslide was estimated at SFr5-6 million ($5.2-6.2 million), and the overall costs associated with the interruption of service were estimated at between SFr10 and 20 million.

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