Ceneri Base Tunnel – a virtual inauguration

travel

The Ceneri base tunnel is expected to open to commuters in December, however the September inauguration will take place without guests and with EU ministers connected by videoconference

 Ceneri Base Tunnel – a virtual inauguration
(KEYSTONE/Ti-Press/Elia Bianchi)

Ceneri Base Tunnel – a virtual inauguration

(KEYSTONE/Ti-Press/Elia Bianchi)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Ceneri base tunnel is expected to open to commuters in mid-December 2020. However, due to the situation, the inaugurations scheduled for the opening in September will not have guests and European transport ministers present but instead they will connect by videoconference.

The Federal Council decided that the launch in Bellinzona, Lugano and Locarno for the commissioning of the Ticino regional fast network will be postponed summer of 2021.

In a statement, the government explains that the commencement for the opening of the tunnel and for the completion of Alptransit are jointly organised by the government - AlpTransit San Gottardo SA (ATG) and SBB. Following the new situation created with the pandemic, the managers decided to change the processes.

The meeting of transport ministers, scheduled for September 3 in Ticino, will be replaced by a video conference dedicated to the international value of Alptransit, while the SBB RailSummit scheduled for the same date has been cancelled. The lowland railway through the Alps is a central element of the European freight corridor Rotterdam-Genoa and important for the transfer of goods from road to rail.

The handover ceremony of the tunnel by the builder ATG to the future SBB operator will take place on 4 September without the participation of the 650 initially expected guests and the presence of media representatives only.

The party scheduled for ATG employees will not take place on 8 September. It has yet to be decided whether to cancel it entirely or to postpone it. Part of the SBB and their partners' celebrations on 12 and 13 December is also postponed: the appointment scheduled for the mid-December timetable change will take place, but the popular festival in Bellinzona, Lugano will be postponed to summer 2021 and Locarno.

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