Following the latest incident in the Gotthard base tunnel on 10 August, the Swiss rail freight sector is responding quickly to the challenges that have arisen along the vital Rhine-Alpine corridor. Despite the holiday season, which typically leads to reduced demand, a backlog of trains and loading units has accumulated. The industry is proactively implementing measures to minimize disruption to supply chains and freight traffic.
While alternative routes are available in Switzerland, such as the Gotthard and Lötschberg/Simplon route, these options have limitations in capacity and profile. The expected reopening of the undamaged tube of the Gotthard base tunnel on 23 August will provide a welcome reprieve, and SBB Infrastructure plans to allocate 90 train paths per day for freight trains with a 4-meter profile.
To deal with the situation effectively, the freight industry is advocating strategic measures, including prioritizing freight traffic through the undamaged tunnel, optimizing tunnel capacity, diverting certain traffic to alternative routes, and applying efficient operational management. Close coordination with neighboring infrastructure managers is also underway to ensure a coherent and rapid response to any unexpected problems.