The Ceneri Base Tunnel
On Friday 4 September, the tunnel (Ceneri Basis-Tunnel) was opened at Monte Ceneri in the canton of Tessin. This tunnel completes the NEAT (Die NEue AlpenTransversale) project, the largest and most expensive infrastructure in the country. On 13 December, 06.00 AM, the first train will run from Lugano to the north. The tunnel is 15.4 kilometres long and connects Camorino near Bellinzona with Lugano. In 2007, the tunnel (34.6 km) through the Lötschberg was already put into operation. The Gotthard base tunnel was opened on 1 June 2016. Switzerland has thus fulfilled its (European) treaty obligations and respected the result of the referendum in the 1990s. Pacta sunt servanda. The expenses are around 23 billion CHF, paid by Switzerland. The Gotthard Strassen-Tunnel (over 16 km long), inaugurated on 5 September 1980, also meant a major reduction in travel time for the road transport. With the completion of the NEAT project, the geographical heart of Europe has (once again) done an enormous service to European freight- and road transport in reducing journey times.
The Italian-speaking canton of Tessin will also get a better infrastructure with the Ceneri tunnel between the cities of Bellinzona, Lugano and Locarno or the Città Ticino, a kind of Greater London or the Randstad of the Netherlands (The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam). In the long term, it will also connect parts of northern Italy (Genoa, Milan, Como, Mendrisio-Varese (Maplensa), Novara).