The Gotthard Pass Route
Article by John McKey, Peider SwissTrip, Pictures Peider SwissTrip, Ilkka Siissalo and John McKey,
Part 1: What is the Gotthard Pass Railroute...
Welcome to the Gotthard Pass railroading Visions page! The pass forms a major artery running between Germany and other countries in the North and Italy in the South. The rail route runs between Arth-Goldau in the mid Switzerland and Bellinzona near the southern border to Italy. While the route is famous for its beauty, it has always also been a scene of dangers to be overcome.
Above a view to the Gotthard pass nature and the rail line in Guernelle, Switzerland. At Gotthard the passing through the narrow valley climbing the mountains has been a scene of constant struggle. One of the latest was an earth slide at this scene during the summer of 2012. The incident killed several people at works trying to stabilize the rock and forced to close the extremely busy line for about two weeks. The earth mowing work is still well visible on the picture above taken shortly after reopening of the line. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.
What is the Gotthard Route
There are many definitions what the Gotthard rail route consists of as the form of the labyrinth of valleys and mountains is not quite clear at either end. Here are a few:
- International operations view: Gotthard route starts in Basle, it ends at Chiasso (so called Gotthard axis)
- Regional view: Arth Goldau to Bellinzona > not so common, but it suits. Both are/were SBB locomotive interchange points.
- Historic view: Erstfeld to Biasca (start and end of Gotthard ramp), these will also be the new tunnel portals 2016 onwards.
So you can pick up the the whole route or parts of the route that you are intersted. In this article we discuss the southern part of the whole route from Arth Goldau to Chiasso, where the traffic will be pass over to the Italian side.
More will be added in the near future, so please come back a little later.
More views in part 2