Gotthard Basistunnel derailment – tunnel repairs to take several months 17/08/23

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Gotthard Basistunnel derailment – tunnel repairs to take several months

Source: Picture by Hpgruesen on Pixabay

Source: Picture by Hpgruesen on Pixabay

In the early afternoon of Thursday 10th of August, a freight train with 30 freight wagons derailed in the Gotthard Basistunnel. After their arrival in Chiasso from different departure points in Italy, they were checked by the SBB.

These checks included both an operational and technical wagon and train check. No irregularities were found. The freight train passed automatic control devices on its way from Bellinzona to the Tunnel without triggering any alarms. The Swiss Safety Investigation Authority (SUST) and the public prosecutor’s office of the Canton of Ticino are investigating the cause of the accident.

Freight traffic can use one lane through the base tunnel as of 23 August. The temporary gate will allow the undamaged east tunnel to be used for freight traffic, probably from 23 August 2023. However, only some goods trains will continue to be diverted via the Gotthard panorama route and via the Lötschberg-Simplon axis, as not all freight trains are suitable for them.

Following further examinations, it became obvious that the magnitude of the damage was far more than initially estimated. Approximately 8 kilometers of track and 20,000 concrete sleepers must be replaced. The track bed near the Faido gauge change is extensively damaged. It will take several months to replace all destroyed elements of the railway facilities. SBB now anticipates that both tunnel tubes will reopen to a limited extent for rail service in early 2024.