This is how Switzerland supports the 4-metre corridor to Milan
Italy and Switzerland have agreed on a plan of action for the expansion of the Lötschberg-Simplon corridor. This expansion will enable cross-border intermodal transport with a height of 4 metres up till the Milan/Novara area in Italy.
On Thursday 24 February the Swiss Federal Office of Transport (FOT) signed an agreement with the Italian rail infrastructure operator RFI towards this end. The expansion was agreed a year ago as part of the opening of the Ceneri base tunnel. Now, financial agreements have been made, as well as a time schedule for the project.
Swiss money for Italy
Part of the expansion takes place on Italian territory. Italy has committed to expanding this route by 2028, and Switzerland has promised to support this financially with 148 million Swiss francs, as the expansion is in their interest too. In the new agreement, the respective parties have finalised how this contribution will take place. Accordingly, the 148 million francs will be paid out to the RFI as construction progresses.
The agreement also regulates the detailed schedule for the execution of the work, the mutual obligations as well as the cooperation in the project supervision and the procurement process. Switzerland constantly monitors the use of the financial contributions and can suspend payments if Italy fails to meet its obligations.
The expansion of the two NRLA axes Lötschberg-Simplon and Gotthard to a 4-meter corridor is an important element of the Swiss relocation policy, since the transport and logistics industry is using more and more semi-trailers with a corner height of four meters.
CHF 990 million
Overall, the Swiss parliament approved a loan of CHF 990 million for the construction of the 4-meter corridor. This includes 280 million for measures in Italy. In addition to the CHF 148 million on the Lötschberg-Simplon axis, Switzerland invested CHF 120 million on the Luino line. This work was completed by RFI according to plan and within the agreed budget; the route has been in successful operation since the end of 2020.
On Swiss territory, the construction of the 4-meter corridor has also been completed with the opening of the new Bözberg tunnel at the end of 2020. A total of 170 expansion measures have been implemented between Basel and the southern side of the Alps (mainly tunnels, platform roofs, traction