Imagine a level transit route through the Alps
. Looks impossible, doesn't it? In fact, the Swiss are building it with the Alptransit
project. With Alptransit, Switzerland
will be traversed by high-speed train links that will make it a central hub for high speed railways
moving people and goods in Europe
. They are building the longest train tunnels in the world, designed for speeds up to 250 km/h (160 mph), with extensive environmental attention and the highest safety measures - for instance, trains will travel in separate tunnels either way.
The first part of Alptransit is currentrly being escavated below the Gotthard, and should be fully operational by 2011 after an expected expense of over 10 billion Swiss francs. It will run from Bodio in Southern Switzerland to Erstfeld in Central Switzerland, for a grand total of 58 km (37 miles).
The tunnels are linked to a package of agreements with the European Union that was going to increase truck traffic on the Germany-Italy run. With Alptransit, most of those trucks will travel by train while traversing Switzerland.