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Train alert - St Gotthard train line closed! For at least a month!

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Jun 7th, 2012, 02:41 AM
  #1
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Train alert - St Gotthard train line closed! For at least a month!

The main train line from Northern Switzerland (and most of Germany) to Italy has been cut due to a landslide just north of the St Gotthard tunnel. See - http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...SIV_story.html
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Jun 7th, 2012, 04:39 AM
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Swiss rail says that long-distance travel will be handled via Lötschberg and Simplon tunnels now. So the most direct line from Basel/zurich to Milan is interrupted, but it's not such a major problem to by-pass the landslide. The railway site talks about 60-90 minutes extended travel times. So it's not an end of the world scenario for the travelling tourist.
This will only directly effect those who plan to travel from Zurich, Luzern or Basel to Locarno, Lugano and the Tessin lakes. Those are suggested to use the main Gotthard line, and get on replacement buses for the leg that is now closed.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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The railway site talks about 60-90 minutes extended travel times

You are correct but this might mean many may have to alter their travel plans especially if taking a train to catch a flight out of Milan or Zurich etc
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Jun 7th, 2012, 05:10 AM
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Correct. But it's not as if you needed to go via Austria or France to make it into Italy.
And it also does not effect you if you are already in Tessin and have to go to Milan.
I guess not that many people stay in northern Italy and need to get to Zurich airport on their last day within one day. Or vv from Zurich to Milan. Especially since flights to the US depart early before noon, so it would almost be impossible to catch those same day from either Milan or Zurich.

The only group that may be affected should be those who are in Tessin of at the lakes right now, and need to fly out of Zurich.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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There was recently another thread about this including the SBB site link. People were advised that the site lists various alternative travel options.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Wow! Just travelled through there on 6/26 (see my TR) glad I made it!
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Jun 7th, 2012, 07:28 AM
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Cowboy - I live in Como and can tell you that more than you think fly into Europe via Zurich and often take the train down to Lugano and then the Swiss postal bus to Menaggio on Lake Como or on to Como itself. The train is often full of people going on either to Florence or Venice.
This will affect many people's travel plans more than you believe especially those on a rushed, every hour counts trip around Europe.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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The link to the info from SBB is here
http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/him/133897378...20Gotthard.pdf
Though this pdf does not mention the alternative route for travellers from Basel and the North via Brig/Domodossola! That info was given only on the SBB website.

I do NOT doubt that it will have an effect. But even if the Gotthard tunnel was still open you could not get to Zurich airport before 11am from Como. Which would be too late for most flights TO North America. Hence, no drama for those going back as they need to be North of the desaster a day before they leave for the US anyway.

And 60-90 minutes additional travel time is a rather mild effect from a desaster as big as having one major transalpine artery cut off IMO.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Excuse my ignorance...is this the same line as Brenner Pass?

I was just researching autotrain transportation today Germany to Italy and DBahn had noted that Brenner Pass was closed and the lines were being re-routed through Austria.

We will soon be moving to Italy with 2 cars (one older than 10 yrs) and were looking at options from Freiburg. Have just started to look into options/routes.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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I posted a thread about this two days ago. Maybe I didn't use enough exclamation points...

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...il-service.cfm
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Jun 7th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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No, it is not, Klondiketoo. The route over the Brenner Pass runs basically from Austria (Innsbruck, etc.) down into the Dolomites of Italy (Bolzano, Trento, etc., and on to Verona/Rome)
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Jun 7th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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FoFoBT, what you didn't do was note that the SBB had posted alternative routes and that there ARE alternative routes available.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 10:47 AM
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There were alternatives in the link I provided.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Yes, but you didn't point them out which would have been helpful for those who get bowled over by "sensational" headlines and then jump to conclusions.
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Jun 7th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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There are substitute buses on the Gotthard route that bypass the closed part, hence the additional travel time. So it is possible to get through, it will just take longer. Cleanup and repair works cannot yet begin because they fear more rocks falling. The slope has to be investigated and secured first. That's why they expect the railway line to stay closed for at least a month.

The best and obvious alternative to the Gotthard line is the Lötschberg-Simplon route, which is well and frequently served, so if you can, reroute via Bern - Brig - Domodossola. Expect trains to be busy, as they were this morning.

I would like to, by the way, express my condolences to the family and friends of the young worker who was killed in the Gotthard landslide on Tuesday morning. Think of him and his two injured colleagues before you whine about the loss of some 60 minutes.
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