NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 14:01
Train traffic going through the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland will be at a standstill until at least next Wednesday. A freight train derailed in the tunnel yesterday, according to a spokesman for transport company SBB, no injuries were reported.
The cause of the derailment is still being investigated, as is the damage in the tunnel. SBB expects it to be significant. The derailed freight train is blocking an important transport route between the north and south of Europe.
Detours for trains are now being considered in both directions. For the passenger trains, there is the so-called panorama route through the mountains, which increases the travel time by an hour.
Due to height differences, it is difficult for freight trains to take that route, but with extra locomotives it is an option. A small part of freight transport is therefore done by road, according to SBB.
Longest tunnel in the world
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, as the railway tunnel is officially called, was opened in 2016. With a length of 57 kilometers, it is the longest tunnel in the world. It is an important connection between, among others, the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp and the port of Genoa in northern Italy.
Due to the increased traffic and limited alternatives, SBB strongly advises people to postpone their journey through the Gotthard tunnel.