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Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnel. Note the route through Luino follows the lake shores.

The Ceneri Base Tunnel (CBT) is a railway tunnel under construction in Switzerland's Canton Ticino. The tunnel will pass under Monte Ceneri between Camorino in the Magadino Flat and Vezia near Lugano. This tunnel is another part of the Swiss AlpTransit initiative NRLA. Upon completion, the Ceneri Base Tunnel will be a very important feeder in the south for the Gotthard Base Tunnel since the existing, proportionally steep track over Monte Ceneri is neither suitable for high speed rail nor heavy freight trains. Another feeder is the Luino link along Lake Maggiore which is about to be upgraded by Italy in prospect of the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Both links meet in the Magadino Flat in the future Camorino Node (Italian: Nodo di Camorino).

As well as the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the Ceneri Base Tunnel is being built under contract from the Swiss Federal Government by Alptransit Gotthard AG. Construction of the two single-track bores with a planned length of 15.4 km (9.6 mi) has commenced in March 2006. The official start was celebrated on June 2, 2006 with the laying of a foundation stone. An exploration tunnel near Sigirino has already been excavated between 1999 and 2003 to gain geological data on the rock formations at the base tunnel's level. Due to the information that was gathered it has been decided that only a small part can be drilled using a tunnel boring machine, the rest will be excavated with traditional blasting methods.

The Ceneri Base Tunnel will ease also local train traffic, mainly between the two major cities Locarno and Lugano but also Bellinzona and Lugano. Travel time with the S-Bahn from Locarno to Lugano will drop from 50 to 22 min.



On June 11th, 2009, the Board of Directors of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd announced the construction contract for the tunnel had been awarded to the Consorzio Condotte Cossi consortium,at a value of 987 million Swiss francs. Surface installation will be built in autumn 2009. Boring work on the tunnels will start in spring 2010. Excavation should be complete by 2015. Once excavation is complete, railway infrastructure will start to be installed. Commercial usage of the Ceneri Base Tunnel through revenue train services is expected to commence at the end of 2019.[1]

On the 10th of March, 2010, it was announced that blasting had now begun on the main drives of the Ceneri Base Tunnel. Tunneling is expected to reach full-speed by Autumn 2010. Excavation, support and lining should be complete by 2016, followed by railway infrastructure by there after. Opening is still expected to be late 2019.[2]

Year   Month   Completed so far  % of the total 40.19 km
2010 January 7.6 km/4.72 mi 18.9%
February 7.637 km/4.75 mi 19%
March 7.673 km/4.77 mi 19.1%


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