Bad news for the transalpine rail traffic: Derailment inside the new Gotthard Basis Tunnel

Bad news for the transalpine rail traffic: Derailment inside the new Gotthard Basis Tunnel

Several freight cars of a northbound train passing through the Gotthard Basis Tunnel derailed close on 10 August 2023, causing all traffic to halt to a standstill at this frequent route.

Following the derailment of the last wagon of a freight train passing through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the traffic on the major Swiss tunnel route was stopped, and all passenger rail traffic was diverted via the Gotthard mountain route. The tunnel is expected to be closed at least until midnight, 16 August 2023.

The cause of the accident is so far unknown. The last covered Transwaggon car of the train derailed close to Faido station. No one was injured, and no dangerous substances leaked. The Swiss Safety Investigation Board (SUST) was called to examine the damage on the rail track and the catenary.

An accident came at the worst timing when another key transalpine route – the Brenner Pass - is closed for all traffic due to infrastructure works until 23 August 2023. Due to heavy seasonal passenger rail traffic, freight rail can expect further significant delays on north-south axis through Europe. The border crossing in Tarvisio Boscoverde is used to bypass the Brenner route. If the Gotthard Pass is full, the alternative to reroute traffic via Switzerland is the Lötschberg basis tunnel.

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