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Old October 17th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #1401
ChrisZwolle
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Container freight by truck is only a minimal percentage of all truck freight. Most container freight is already done by train or ship except within a few hundred kilometers near major ports where it is quicker and more efficient to do the last leg by truck for some goods. Most truck traffic through the Gotthard is bound to have an origin or destination within the Milano metropolitan area or near Genova. If you want to go further into Italy, the Brenner is a better option.

An issue is that the amount of truck traffic is suggested to be much higher than it actually is, by using terms as "truck avalanches", "mega trucks" or "1 million trucks". Fact is that trans-Alpine truck traffic is pretty minimal. There are almost no international routes with such low truck volumes as the Gotthard. And the Brenner and Tauern Routes do not have that much truck traffic either, albeit more than the Gotthard route. 1 million trucks per year may sound a lot but it is only 2.700 trucks per day which is really low. Even taking the busiest truck routes in Europe out of the equation, 2.700 is still on the low end. Just about any motorway in central Europe carries more trucks than that. Even in the unlikely event that all trans-Alpine rail freight would shift to trucks, the absolute number is still rather low.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #1402
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Still some goods could be moved by train.

And there are the same protests also on the Fréjus, Mont Blanc and Brenner routes, albeit without any result.

Finally, reaching the 650.000 limit would also help to make more acceptable the second Gotthard tunnel (but this point will be discussed next year).
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Old October 17th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #1403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
The fact the Dutch A15 carries 20.000 trucks or so a day is not a reason to worsen situation elsewhere. And a lot of transalpine freight traffic is long distance, like The Netherlands-Italy, so some thousands of vehicles multiplied for a few thousands kilometres is not so negligible.
We're just talking about Swiss, right? Germany and Italy don't have that insane tolls and driving restrictions as Switserland has.

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That's why there will be no RO-RO trains (or not too much of them) on the Gotthard line, as carrying containers or semitrailers alone from Amsterdam to Bologna is better than shuttling trucks from Erstfeld to Biasca or from Basel to Chiasso (less freight by roa, less weight (tractors) on trains). Throught Switzerland there are a few RO-RO trains, but this offer will not be extended: 10 trains per direction on Freiburg-Lötschberg-Simplon-Novara, one train on Basel-Gotthard-Lugano, carrying respectively around 100.000 and 10.000 trucks a year.
I've heard the company I'm driving for used to use that train service between Freiburg and Novara. They don't do it anymore cause it takes too much time and drivers could barely sleep in the train cabins.

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@Jeroen669: in my opinion the best solution may be a 2+2 tunnel, without an absolute truck limit but with tolls varying according to the day (very high on summer weekends, lower during winter weeks) and to the type of goods carried (low tolls for a truck carrying flowers from Amsterdam to Milano, but very high for washing machines manufactured in Italy and sold in Sweden). But in absence of such toll policy I still prefer the status quo (the queues don't bother me, as I nearly always travel by train to go north of the Gotthard).
Keeping trucking in Switserland exclusively for high-value goods is your good right. Imo it's just insane, such policy doesn't belong in a rich country with a free market. The queues don't bother you: well I don't bother train delays, but what does that say? I think it's time for Switserland to see railways and roads as equal...
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #1404
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Quote:
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We're just talking about Swiss, right? Germany and Italy don't have that insane tolls and driving restrictions as Switserland has.
Yes, but the attitude of the local population is basically the same. And the toll for Basel-Chiasso (300 km) is more or less the toll for the same distance on the two main French-Italy tunnels.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 04:10 AM   #1405
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The idea of charging tolls according to the time-sensitivity of the cargo is totally insane. A truck is a truck and occupies 0,0x% of the daily capacity on a tunnel. There is a thing called market to sort out which cargo goes by each mode of transportation.

What the Swiss want to do is to force DB and, especially, Trenitalia, to operate more "express freight" trains. In order to operate container trains with a fast turnaround, essential in today's paradigm of lean manufacturing and just-in-time supply chains, you need massive transshipment facilities with longitudinal cranes that can take a container and put it in a truck trailer in a matter of 110s or less. It's pretty cool stuff, but insanely expensive if you don't have scale on your operation.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #1406
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Quote:
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Btw, the current truck control centres are also causing (next to a lot of time loss) a lot of extra pollution:
Erstfeld (dir. south) -> some extra kms of driving, lots of stop-and-go, lots of stationary trucks (you're not going to turn off your engine for 2-3 minutes when you're fully loaded), not to mention all the extra pollution from building this HUGE concrete area
Biasca (dir. south) -> lots of stop-and-go, huge waiting area, etc.sor
Biasca (dir. north) -> lots of stop-and go, but this one is especially a pain in the ass since most trucks can't get to cruise speed anymore before beginning the climb here.
Before the southern portal there are two traffic lights: one before the Gotthard tunnel, one before the previous tunnel ("Stalvedro"). Vehicles are kept at halt at the Stalvedro lights until there is some free space between that lights and the Gotthard traffic lights. The second queue seems more stationary than the first, maybe reducing the vehicles with the motor turned on but idling.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #1407
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I wasn't even talking about the Gotthard itself, but about the obligatory truck parkings many kilometers before and after the Gotthard.

I get the idea of the extra traffic lights avoiding stationary traffic in the smaller tunnels before entering the Gotthard. Maybe if they'd install counters (minutes to green light) more people would turn their engine off. However: by truck I refuse to turn off my engine when traffic is stationary for less than 5 minutes. It takes ages to get enough air pressure otherwise...
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Old October 20th, 2011, 11:54 PM   #1408
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Summer 2011 trip to the south:

1. With 14 km of traffic jam announced in front of Gotthard motorway tunnel, the decision is easy to travel the pass instead.



2. Climbing ...



3. Interesting shape of arrows on the sign



4. Trailing the pack



5. At the summit of Gotthard Pass - next to the road



6. Descending, Ticino side: nice parking in a hairpin curve
+ notice the change in the weather



7. Heading down ... the traffic jam announced for the tunnel at this time was already 18 km for the southbound and 5 km for the northbound direction.



8. Verzasca Dam (TI) - road on top of it, visitors allowed only on foot



9. The dam

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Old October 21st, 2011, 12:13 AM   #1409
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Did you see James Bond?
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Old October 21st, 2011, 01:29 AM   #1410
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Did you see James Bond?
How could I have, when that jump was in the Soviet Union yet the 007 emblem is of course proudly displayed at the jumping point on the dam ...

Leaving Lugano westwards for Lago Maggiore, towards Luino (I)
This road apparently has no number and becomes Via Cantonale



Right behind the CH/I border

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Old October 21st, 2011, 10:32 PM   #1411
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How could I have, when that jump was in the Soviet Union
Yes, of course
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Old October 21st, 2011, 11:57 PM   #1412
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The Saas bypass has been opened:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umfahrung_Saas

http://www.gr.ch/DE/institutionen/ve...rung-saas.aspx

http://www.suedostschweiz.ch/wirtsch...-lang-gefeiert
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 12:35 AM   #1413
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That is good news for the inhabitants of Saas, winter sport fanatics to Davos or general traffic to the Unter Engadin
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 06:38 PM   #1414
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9 years for construction?
And I thought our companies are slow.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 08:43 PM   #1415
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There is very little money for road construction in Switzerland nowadays, that's why most works are dragged out longer to spend less per year.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 10:58 PM   #1416
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It's the same for railways (but the timing is nearly always respected) if not for everything.

On the A28 (which will not be a real Autostrasse) there is another bypass under construction, for Küblis. It will open in 2016.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 11:02 PM   #1417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
There is very little money for road construction in Switzerland nowadays, that's why most works are dragged out longer to spend less per year.
...So, even CH doesn´t have the money to build roads,...Hm! It´s bad, very bad!!!
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 11:06 PM   #1418
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They do have money, they just don't spend it on roads.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 01:31 AM   #1419
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Total cost is thus much higher than if it would be built in normal time (around 3 years).
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 08:20 AM   #1420
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Total cost is thus much higher than if it would be built in normal time (around 3 years).
No. At lest the Swiss are clever in the sense of starting and finishing construction of shorter sectors soon, with money already guaranteed when a project started. It is rare to read of a road project that had begun construction and then stopped because of lack of funds. Or permits. So once they begin digging and doing earthworks, it is almost certain that sector will be completed on time.
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