Signalling under the Alps in Switzerland

Switzerland is committed to shifting freight from road to rail. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is tangible evidence of that commitment: stretching for 57km beneath the Alps, it is the longest rail tunnel in the world and it plays a vital role in reducing the impact of road traffic in the fragile Alpine environment.

Thales’ ETCS Level 2 signalling ensures this landmark asset is used to its full potential. The system uses continuous track-to-train radio communications to link trains to the signalling system, making it possible to run trains at up to 250km/h and shaving an hour off the previous best Zurich-Milan journey time.

The new tunnel opened in December 2016, a year ahead of schedule.

Thales also equipped the Lötschberg tunnel (34.6km) and is now equipping the Ceneri tunnel (15.4km) with ETCS Level 2 train control technology as part of the Swiss project aimed at moving traffic from road to rail.