SBB cancels or delays all services through Gotthard after train derails
Passengers hoping to travel through the Swiss mountains have been told to expect major disruption over the next few days, after a goods train derailed as it was passing through the Gotthard Tunnel. Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) confirmed that normal services will resume on August 16 at the earliest.
Gotthard Tunnel closes after goods train derails
According to a statement from the Swiss police, given to 20 Minuten, the freight train derailed at 12.45pm on August 10 as it was passing through the Gotthard Tunnel - the main rail artery between Swiss cities in the north, Canton Ticino and Italy. Luckily, no one was hurt during the derailment, and while the train was carrying some goods deemed to be “dangerous”, they were not damaged.
It is currently unclear how or why the train derailed in the tunnel, and the extent of the damage is yet to be determined. SBB has deployed the Swiss Safety Investigation Board to deduce what happened and will “check the roadway and catenary for possible damage."
Swiss trains through the Alps delayed or cancelled
For its part, SBB confirmed that passengers between Italy, Ticino and places like Zurich, Basel, Bern and more should expect delays and disruption from August 10 onwards. When possible, Intercity (IC) and EuroCity (EC) services will be diverted around the tunnel using the Gotthard panorama route, which will extend journey times between Arth-Goldau and Bellinzona by an hour. However, a significant number of services will also be cancelled.
"Due to the diversions over the mountain route, the holiday return journey and the Street Parade taking place at the weekend, there will be heavily occupied trains," SBB wrote. Most services that usually use the tunnel will be standing room only.
Gotthard closure set to last until August 16 at least
Passengers should expect the disruption to continue until midnight on August 16. However, authorities warned that if the tunnel is found to be damaged, it may take even longer to get trains back up and running.
For more regular updates about the situation, check the SBB website.