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Submitted on
September 29, 2009
Image Size
3.7 MB


31 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 1000D
Shutter Speed
1/125 second
Focal Length
55 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Sep 15, 2009, 3:17:20 PM


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Gotthardtunnel by ZCochrane Gotthardtunnel by ZCochrane
The railway line through the Gotthard mountain with the Gotthard tunnel as the counterpoint was opened in 1882, when the international european railway network already existed in many areas. Nevertheless, it is probably the most important line for european railroading ever, as it was the first and still is the most important useful, all-year available answer to the 2,000 year old question: How do I come from Italy (and the economic area of the Mediterranean) to Germany (and the economic areas of the North and Baltic sea)?

Among other things, the huge traffic through the line also led the swiss government to invite other european governments to the swiss capital of Berne, to create a comprehensive set of standards for rolling stock, as incompatible vehicles were quite a problem in international traffic then (1877). The contract about the "Technische Einheit im Eisenbahnwesen" (technical standardization in railroading) was abolished in 1999, but modern UIC standards, the COTIF agreement and most recently the TSIs, which are technically EU law but also applied in many non-member countries, can all trace their roots back to this.

The mountainous lines towards the Gotthard tunnel (known as the Gotthard ramps) are spectacular, but with high gradients also a problem in international freight traffic. Hence, a new Gotthard Basistunnel is currently being built, much further down the mountain and much longer. Whether the current historic line will remain is currently not clear. There are hopes for UNESCO world heritage status, which it certainly deserves in my opinion.

The train appearing here at the north end of the tunnel in Göschenen is hauled by a classic Re 4/4II. This InterRegio from Lugano to Basel has just about every type of single-decker passenger car you'll find in Switzerland, including EW I from the 1960s, EW IV from the 1980s, EuroCity carriages in Cisalpino paint scheme and even a panorama car with raised floor and huge windows. As I neither know too many railroad car enthusiast, nor am one myself, I decided to ignore this, though.

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tilianus Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Gee, so much information. Great effort.
JSH50 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Most excellent!
SwissTrain Featured By Owner May 2, 2010
Die sind wenigstens besser als der autobahn tunnel :D
ZCochrane Featured By Owner May 3, 2010  Student Photographer
Klar, mit Tempolimit macht eine Autobahn doch sowieso keinen Spaß. :D
SwissTrain Featured By Owner May 3, 2010
Naja stell dir in der Schweiz ne Autobahn ohne Limit vor? :matrixfight: :analprobe:
Da gibste in Zürich 200 und dann musste schon wider bremsen weil an Bern vorbeigerauscht bist ;)
ZCochrane Featured By Owner May 3, 2010  Student Photographer
Das ist natürlich wahr!
GDupons Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010
There are some villages along the line, also a connection to the narrow gauge MGB at Göschenen, so I don't think they will close it or change to historic line after the opening of the base tunnel. I expect the same mode as at Lötschberg. While the direct trains uses the tunnel there will be still regional trains over the pass. But of course not so many as now.
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2010  Student Photographer
Well, it’s one train an hour (per direction) that stops in Göschenen, I don’t think it will matter much to the ones living how the through trains will travel. I certainly hope that it remains like the Lötschberg, as I’d really like to be able to travel it again some day, even after the tunnel opens. A truly amazing railroad.
gundam-genki Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I like the distance you kept. Most pictures of these tunnel portals are taken much close.
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009  Student Photographer
That was more coincidence than anything else. We actually planned to get on to this train, so we deliberately stayed away from the edges of the platform.

Thank you for the :+fav:!
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