Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has revealed its latest repair estimates for the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which was severely damaged by a derailed freight train in August of this year. It could take until September 2024 before the route is back to full capacity.

SBB added that the repairs could cost between €100m-€135m ($107m-$144m). 

Further crash details were released, with the cause revealed as a cracked wheel. SBB explained that the damage is “much more serious than it initially appeared”. 

The entire railway track infrastructure will need to be replaced on a 7km stretch of the tunnel where the derailment occurred. 20,000 sleepers, the concrete track bed and the rails themselves must be replaced, according to the infrastructure management organisation.

New train timetables will begin in December as SBB attempts to increase both passenger and freight service schedules through the undamaged eastern lane of the tunnel.

Although the SBB previously acknowledged repairs to the tunnel would take “months”, the extended timetable for repairs is a blow for the rail operator.

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