According to a communication sent by the Administrative Council of the AlpTransit Gotthard AG (ATG) to the NEAT Supervisory Authority (the body responsible for the new Alpine transport routes) the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be handed over the SBB – the Swiss Federal Railways - at the end of 2016 without any addition to the costs. This signifies that the NAD’s demand that cost factors should enjoy priority over deadlines has been observed. The ATG has already reached agreement on the outcome of the works contracts with the joint ventures concerned and the SBB are currently examining just how the early commencement of commercial services is to be tackled. Based on the experiences made with the Lötschberg Base Tunnel an operational period of at least 6 months will be required after the ATG hands over the Gotthard Base Tunnel until the Federal Office for Transport (BAV) grants its approval for operations to commence.
According to what the BAV has told the NAD the Gotthard axis is also to be developed to accommodate a 4 m corner height at an earlier stage, namely by 2020 instead of within the scope of Bahn 2030. As a consequence when the Ceneri Base Tunnel is opened as planned in 2020 the entire Basle-Chiasso north-south axis will possess a 4 m corner height. However first of all the financing of the costs amounting to 600 mill. CHF (460 mill. euros) must still be secured. ⇥G.B.