Ceneri Base Tunnel: two-year delay possible

Switzerland. Ongoing legal proceedings jeopardise the time schedule for construction of the Ceneri Base Tunnel. On 27 August, 2014 AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd (ATG) comprehensively informed the NRLA Supervisory Delegation (NAD) about the possible further implementation scenarios. The most likely scenario is an initial operation at the end of 2021 instead of the end of 2019 as originally planned.

In September 2013, appeals were lodged with the Swiss Federal Administrative Court against the awards made by AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd of the railway systems lots for the Ceneri Base Tunnel (Railway Track + Logistics and Railway Systems + Overall Coordination). In March 2014, the Federal Administrative Court partly upheld the appeals. The contested awards were annulled and the matter was referred back to ATG. As a consequence of the decisions of the Federal Administrative Court, ATG decided to terminated its proceedings regarding the awards of the railway infrastructure systems for the Ceneri Base Tunnel and to issue a new invitation for tenders as soon as possible. In connection with the entire awards process, several appeals are currently pending with the Federal Administrative Court as well as the Federal Tribunal.

According to the current assessment of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, the most likely scenario is for an opening to take place in December 2021. This will apply if the legal proceedings result in new invitations to tender for both lots before the end of 2014. In this case, the additional costs for longer availability of systems and installations as well organisational measures would amount to around 100 million Swiss francs (83 million euros).

According to ATG, the formerly planned date for opening of the Ceneri Base Tunnel to coincide with revision of the railway timetable in December 2019 can only be met if the Federal Tribunal issues legally binding rulings that the awards shall be granted to the original recipients by the end of September 2014. The additional costs would then amount to around 10 million Swiss francs (8.3 million euros).


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