Ceneri Base Tunnel

Explore Ticino thanks to the Ceneri Base Tunnel

Since December 2020, Ticino has been even closer thanks to the opening of the 15.4 km railway tunnel between Lugano and Bellinzona. Closer to the rest of Switzerland, but that’s not all... It’s also much easier to explore Ticino during the holidays. Here’s how.

The Ceneri Base Tunnel is the third largest construction project of the NRLA (New Rail Link through the Alps) and, at 15.4 km. the fifth longest railway tunnel in Switzerland. It’s a milestone of huge importance for international freight traffic and, for passenger traffic, an immense improvement in terms of north-south connectivity in Switzerland and between the Sopraceneri and Sottoceneri (upper and lower Ticino).

After twelve years of construction, the new Ceneri Base Tunnel was inaugurated in December 2020. The Gotthard Base Tunnel, which opened in 2016, vastly improved connections between the north and south of Switzerland; travel times were cut once again. Trains now take less than two hours between Zurich and Lugano, while 30 minutes can be shaved off journey times between Locarno and Lugano.

An enormous step forward for public transport in Ticino, promising faster and more convenient travel. Indeed, the 15.4 km railway tunnel between Camorino and Vezia is an important milestone in terms of regional public transport in the canton. The inauguration of the Ceneri Base Tunnel marks the completion of the NRLA, which has been almost sixty years in the planning and implementation.

The 2020 inaugurated Ceneri Base Tunnel is the natural southward continuation of the Gotthard Base Tunnel – operational since 2016 – for high-speed rail traffic. Work began in 2006 and was completed in 2019. The tunnel will be operational in December 2020 with a new FFS timetable.

A dream of a mobility that is getting closer: a breakfast of cappuccino and pastries in Locarno’s Piazza Grande before jumping on a train to Lugano just in time for the museums to open. Or dinner in Piazza della Riforma in Lugano before enjoying an evening screening at the Locarno Film Festival in Piazza Grande. A world of opportunities has opened up thanks to the Ceneri Base Tunnel and the strengthening of the Locarno railway line, which brings trains and their passengers from Locarno to Lugano in just 30 minutes. 

This means that while staying in the sunny region of Lake Maggiore, opportunities to discover Ticino’s traditions in its other cities is within easier reach.

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