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The Swiss Transport Safety Investigation Board (STSB/SUST) confirmed it opened an investigation into the freight train derailment inside the Gotthard Base Tunnel on 17 August 2023, a week after the incident closed the vital thoroughfare. 

The STSB/SUST said the first report into the causes and effects of the derailment would be published next week. 

In an email to Railway Technology, Christoph Kupper, head of the rail division at the STSB/SUST, confirmed the formal process had begun and that parties and companies involved had been made aware. 

Kupper added that “interim results” would not be shared outside of serious findings of security issues. 

“In a week, we will publish the preliminary report,” Kupper told Railway Technology

The STSB/SUST did not give any indication of when the final report could be expected. However, some of the process was explained, including the formal “right of reply”, which will allow the parties involved to comment on the final report. 

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By GlobalData

The crash

The derailment was clearly serious and spread cargo along the tunnel. Credit: SBB CFF FFS.

On 10 August, 8km of track was damaged when a 30-car train derailed while travelling north from the Ticino region into the Uri canton. 

No one was injured, and no “dangerous goods escaped” according to Swiss rail operator SBB. 

The lane change gate was severely damaged in the crash, but the east “tube” can still be used for freight trains, but the single track has caused delays to scheduled services. 

The passenger services through the tunnel have been diverted to the overground route, known as the “panorama” route. 

SBB said: “As of now, around 90 freight trains can run through the base tunnel per day. Around 20 will be diverted via the panoramic route. This means that 110 freight trains can run along the Gotthard axis every day.”