Switzerland’s underground freight project gets start date

This week, a project to build an underground network of freight tunnels from Geneva to St. Gallen was given a start date of August 1, 2022 by the Federal Council, reports RTS.

The Cargo sous terrain (CST) project will connect the main Swiss hubs from 2031. CST aims to lighten the road and rail networks, reduce the environmental impact of transport and improve the delivery of goods throughout the country.

The project, launched in 2013, includes a network of three-lane underground tunnels with automated, driverless electric transport vehicles traveling at 30 km/h and operating 24 hours a day. In addition, there will be a rapid airway on the roof which will allow the delivery of smaller parcels.

The first 70 km section of the tunnel network from Härkingen-Niederbipp to Zurich (in red) is due to be completed in 2031. The rest of the network, an additional 430 km of tunnels, is due to be completed by 2045.

The project, financed by private investors, should cost between 30 and 35 billion francs. Private investors include Migros, Coop, Swisscom, Swiss Post, Manor, Helvetia, Zürcher Kantonalbank, Zurich Airport, Swiss Rail Cargo, La Mobilière, Implenia, Groupe Vaudoise Assurances, Panalpina and Holcim. Foreign companies have also invested.

The Swiss parliament approved the project in December 2021 and no referendum was launched against it.

More information about the project can be found on the company’s website.

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Bonny J. Streater