NRLA – the New Rail Link through the Alps

NRLA – the New Rail Link through the Alps

NRLA Lötschberg - construction,
operation & transport services

Regional, national and for Europe

The Lötschberg base tunnel is now firm fixture the Swiss transport landscape. Only 40 months after it opened on 9 December 2007, the 100,000th train traversed what must be today’s most modern rail tunnel in the world at the beginning of March 2011.

Whether commuters on their way from Valais to Berne, holidaymakers travelling from German-speaking Switzerland to the Valais mountains or business travellers making the journey to northern Italy, the tunnel reduces the journey time for them all.

Freight too, largely in containers, passes through the Lötschberg section of the Rotterdam–Genoa international corridor at all hours of the day and night. In tandem with the route via Kandersteg and Goppenstein, the base tunnel forms a complete alpine transit system.

This masterpiece of technical and civil engineering is now traversed by around 50 passenger trains and up to 60 freight trains per day. Utilisation of the tunnel’s capacity therefore averages over 80% and on some days even 100%, which means that trains have to rely on skilful traffic management to keep things running smoothly.


Further information

The next few pages will tell you more about the idea, the construction and the operation of this project of the century.

» The NRLA concept

» Construction

» Operation of the Lötschberg base route

» Transport services

» Outlook

» Tour of the Lötschberg base tunnel