Opening of the Monte Ceneri base tunnel: a decisive step forward for Europe's intermodal rail system

Even more competitive intermodal services and faster transit times are among the advantages of the new Alptransit

On 4 September, the Monte Ceneri base tunnel, the new Alptransit transalpine railway, whose project had been approved in 1992, was officially opened. This is an important milestone for European rail traffic, which, thanks to the use of longer and heavier trains, will improve the productivity of intermodal services that will use this route to cross the Alps. Transit times will be faster, thus making rail connections between southern and northern Europe increasingly competitive and giving a further boost to reducing the presence of trucks in the Alps.

This innovation’s positive aspects will also affect the Arcese Group from 2021: in fact, in partnership with Hupac, Arcese aims to further develop traffic on this route. The Gotthard crossing will enable the transport of larger volumes and greater connections to Belgium, the Ruhr, North and South Germany as well as Scandinavia and the UK. But that's not all: the development of the network will allow Arcese to improve the level of service guaranteed, as well as to promote the “modal shift” to its customers and therefore the choice, with respect to the whole road, of intermodal services.

The opening of the new tunnel is part of a larger picture including the recent approval of the European Mobility Package and the resulting impact on roadside fleets; this represents a further boost to the development of the intermodal network as an efficient transport solution.

“The completion of the works for the Monte Ceneri base tunnel is a great opportunity for intermodal traffic and therefore for the modal shift from road to more sustainable modes of transport: we will be able to improve the efficiency of our services, considering that large-volume semi-trailers (P400) will be able to pass through the Gotthard for the first time,” says Guido Pietro Bertolone - CEO of the Arcese Group.