Easter brings timetable changes for freight traffic via the Gotthard axis

Image: SBB CFF FFS

SBB will adjust the service timetable through the Gotthard axis for the Easter period, bringing some changes for freight traffic. The Swiss company aims to facilitate commuters during the holidays and thus will increase passenger itineraries. As a result, freight traffic will be largely redirected via the Simplon tunnel. However, after Easter, most freight services are expected to transit via the Gotthard tunnel again.

Following the latest timetable update in early December 2023, SBB provided capacity for 31 passenger trains to run through the Gotthard Base Tunnel between Friday and Sunday. The tunnel’s capacity was reserved only for cargo transit during the weekdays, allowing approximately 100 freight trains to run daily.

From 2 March, the number of transiting passenger trains on the weekends will increase by seven, totalling 38 trains from Friday to Sunday. Additionally, from 25 March, during the week that leads to easter, it will introduce a daily passenger service that will run between Monday and Friday.

What does this mean for rail freight?

Understandably, those changes also affect freight traffic. During the Easter week, freight traffic will be rerouted via the Simplon Tunnel to create additional capacity for passenger trains transiting through Gotthard.

SBB said that the rerouting and timetable changes were planned in coordination with rail freight companies using the corridor, while there was no mention of possible effects the situation might have on services in terms of volumes and frequency. Consequently, freight traffic is expected to continue normally, albeit via a different route.

More freight capacity after Easter

The good news for rail freight companies is that after the Easter period, the majority of services will return to the Gotthard Base Tunnel. SBB explained that it will also offer extra capacity via this axis.

So far, freight trains have enjoyed transit prioritisation through Gotthard’s east tunnel. Following the Easter holiday, they will also be able to use the undamaged parts of the west tube, meaning that rerouting via the Simplon axis will not be needed anymore, as Gotthard will be able to serve the bulk of freight trains.

The Swiss national company also mentioned that this development is very important also in terms of planned infrastructure works that will take place on the Simplon axis between June and September 2024. With the possibility of more trains running through Gotthard, SBB mitigates additional traffic disruptions that could possibly occur during the summer.

The company concluded that restoration works in the Gotthard tunnel are also progressing with the full reopening forecast remaining the same targeting for September 2024.

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Editorial Coordinator of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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Easter brings timetable changes for freight traffic via the Gotthard axis | RailFreight.com

Easter brings timetable changes for freight traffic via the Gotthard axis

Image: SBB CFF FFS

SBB will adjust the service timetable through the Gotthard axis for the Easter period, bringing some changes for freight traffic. The Swiss company aims to facilitate commuters during the holidays and thus will increase passenger itineraries. As a result, freight traffic will be largely redirected via the Simplon tunnel. However, after Easter, most freight services are expected to transit via the Gotthard tunnel again.

Following the latest timetable update in early December 2023, SBB provided capacity for 31 passenger trains to run through the Gotthard Base Tunnel between Friday and Sunday. The tunnel’s capacity was reserved only for cargo transit during the weekdays, allowing approximately 100 freight trains to run daily.

From 2 March, the number of transiting passenger trains on the weekends will increase by seven, totalling 38 trains from Friday to Sunday. Additionally, from 25 March, during the week that leads to easter, it will introduce a daily passenger service that will run between Monday and Friday.

What does this mean for rail freight?

Understandably, those changes also affect freight traffic. During the Easter week, freight traffic will be rerouted via the Simplon Tunnel to create additional capacity for passenger trains transiting through Gotthard.

SBB said that the rerouting and timetable changes were planned in coordination with rail freight companies using the corridor, while there was no mention of possible effects the situation might have on services in terms of volumes and frequency. Consequently, freight traffic is expected to continue normally, albeit via a different route.

More freight capacity after Easter

The good news for rail freight companies is that after the Easter period, the majority of services will return to the Gotthard Base Tunnel. SBB explained that it will also offer extra capacity via this axis.

So far, freight trains have enjoyed transit prioritisation through Gotthard’s east tunnel. Following the Easter holiday, they will also be able to use the undamaged parts of the west tube, meaning that rerouting via the Simplon axis will not be needed anymore, as Gotthard will be able to serve the bulk of freight trains.

The Swiss national company also mentioned that this development is very important also in terms of planned infrastructure works that will take place on the Simplon axis between June and September 2024. With the possibility of more trains running through Gotthard, SBB mitigates additional traffic disruptions that could possibly occur during the summer.

The company concluded that restoration works in the Gotthard tunnel are also progressing with the full reopening forecast remaining the same targeting for September 2024.

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Editorial Coordinator of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.