The Gotthard Base Tunnel is coming to Swiss stations

The "Gottardo 2016" exhibition: this is the name of the interactive exhibition on the longest railway tunnel in the world, which will be coming to major Swiss stations in the next few months. 

Immerse yourself in the history of the construction, discover the impressive dimensions and the technology behind them and experience first-hand what mobility might look like in the future. 


Visit the exhibition from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 


The tour schedule for the "Gottardo 2016" exhibition:


15. – 20.10.2015 Zurich main station 

27.10. – 02.11.2015 Visp, station forecourt
05. – 11.11.2015 Zug, station concourse
03. – 09.03.2016 Genève Cornavin station, station concourse
14. – 22.03.2016 Bern, Christoffel pedestrian underpass at the station
29.03. – 04.04.2016 St. Gallen, station concourse
06. – 12.04.2016 Biel, station forecourt
14. – 24.04.2016 Basel, station concourse
02. – 09.05.2016 Lucerne, station lower level
04./05.06.2016 Biasca, Public opening ceremony at the Gotthard

Subject to change.


Do you want to learn more about the once-in-a-century construction project?

Or would you like to know what is being shown in the exhibition? You can find a summary with more information here.

History topic

The creation of this project which will go down in history is illuminated through profiles of important protagonists and their vision, courage and pioneering spirit. 


Geschichte von Gottard - Gründer

These key players include (from left to right):


Alfred Escher (1819–1882)

He could arguably be described as the father of rail transport on the Gotthard north-south axis.


Eduard Gruner (1905–1984)

He set out his vision of a 50-kilometre tunnel from Amsteg to Biasca back in 1947.


Flora Ruchat-Roncati (1937–2012)

As a “member of the design advisory group”, the Ticinese architect shares responsibility for the elegant portals at the northern and southern ends of the tunnel.


Adolf Ogi (1942)

He successfully convinced his critics from both Switzerland and abroad that freight transport through the Alps needed to be moved onto the railways – which would also reduce travel times for passengers.


Marie-Laurence Brustlein (1952)

Like the majority of Swiss voters, the Genevan said “yes” in six referenda, thus giving the go-ahead for the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.



1882 Opening of the Gotthard Summit Tunnel
1947 First design ideas for a Gotthard Base Tunnel
1963 Variants of the NRLA considered
1989 The Swiss Federal Council decides on the network variant of the NRLA
1992 The public says “yes” to the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA)
1995–1998 Debate on redimensioning and financing
1995 Line route defined
1996 Preparation work begins in Sedrun
1998 Financing of the NRLA secured by a referendum
1999 Main tunnel boring begins
2002 First tunnel boring machine used
2007 Opening of the Lötschberg Base Tunnel
2010 Final breakthrough in the Gotthard Base Tunnel
2016 Opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel
2020 Planned opening of the Ceneri Base Tunnel

Detailed timeline

Short film “The Gotthard trade route – from the Twärrenbrücke bridge to the base tunnel” (in German) 



“World-beating facts and figures” topic

Get up close and personal with six of the most impressive facts about the once-in-a-century construction project at the “Gottardo 2016” exhibition.


57 kilometres The length of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, making it the longest railway tunnel in the world and enabling it to supersede Japan’s Seikan Tunnel, which measures just under 54 kilometres. 
2300 metres The depth of some points of the Gotthard Base Tunnel below the rocky surface: it is therefore also the deepest railway tunnel ever built. 
​28,2 million tonnes of rock was excavated. A large proportion of it was reincorporated into the mountain in the form of concrete. The remaining material was used for construction in the surrounding area or for filling dams. Six islands, three for conservation and three for bathing were created in Lake Uri. 
17 years The time spent building the Gotthard Base Tunnel. It will be put into operation on schedule in December 2016. 
210 000 trucks travelling through the Alps will be moved onto the railway each year until 2020, with this number set to rise as high as 240,000 by 2030. 
1 172 000 panettone loaves are transported on the railway from the south to the north by Coop each year.
1 Stunde The time saved by passengers travelling between Milan and German-speaking Switzerland once the entire Gotthard axis is complete. 

Visit www.gottardo2016.ch for more facts and figures

“Technology” topic

The exhibits and explanations of the “Gottardo 2016” exhibition compellingly present this epic feat of planning and implementation. You can also immerse yourself completely in the project with a virtual reality headset.  


See the following links for more information about the construction and professions involved:

You can find more information about topics such as tunnel construction and lining, geology, safety and the power supply in the brochure “New traffic route through the heart of Switzerland”.

“The significance for Switzerland and Europe” topic

The Gotthard Base Tunnel brings the north and south closer together. New rolling stock coupled with faster and more frequent connections will also shift the focus more towards the Gotthard north-south axis and give freight traffic a real boost.


People tell their own personal stories about the once-in-a-century project and its significance for Switzerland and Europe.


Discover the Gotthard region (excursion ideas)

“The mobility of the future” topic

The Gotthard Base Tunnel is a project that will go down in history. Yet how will future generations get about? In her short film 2050 – The Future of Mobility, futurist and visual artist Sophie Charlotte Andresen looks ahead and presents her vision of mobility in the year 2050. Born in 1991, Andresen has worked as a creative consultant for Hollywood filmmakers as well as a range of companies and institutions. She lives and works in Berlin.


Links for more information:

SBB Gotthard blog
SBB Cargo blog
Discover the Gotthard region (excursion ideas)