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Old June 25th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #1801
Coccodrillo
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This may be the most wanted and waited news in this thread: the second Gotthard road tunnel.

According to Der Sonntag the majority of the federal councillors is favourable to a second Gotthard road tunnel and they will state that officially on Wednesday. This doesn't mean that the project can go ahead, however.

However according to the law the capacity of transalpine roads cannot be increased. I don't know how this law can be interpreted (and I can't find it right now), but I suppose only one lane per direction might be allowed to be in use (an alternative might be limiting the traffic to the equivalent of one lane?).

A lot of environmentalist associations have announced they will combat this decision in any possible democratic way. I suppose they might obtain a lane limit, but not the construction of a new tunnel, as the law basically doesn't forbid the construction of new roads or carriageways, but their openings.

In any case, a closure for 3 months in spring and 2 in autumn (or viceversa, 2+3) around 2020 is sure because of quite urgent refurbishment works. During that closure any rail shuttle will be provided, except I suppose for local traffic (the loading ramps in Göschenen and Airolo, preserved as backup and last used for two months in 2001, can handle around 300 cars per hour per direction, while for trucks there are loading ramps in Uri and Lugano).

Knowing the Swiss slowness regarding public works, and considering that a second tunnel is not considered a priority (as it isn't a bottleneck - legally speaking), I seriously doubt works can start before the end of all existing projects (A8, A9, A16, ...) so, still in my opinion, the second tunnel would not open before 2030. Only then refurbishment of the existing one might start, except if they decide to use the new tunnel for traffic and the existing one as a rescue tunnel.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 01:46 AM   #1802
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It's all well and good that they have decided to freeze the capacity of transalpine roads. But this is just a bad way of solving a problem. And what is the problem? If the problem is just the volume of traffic, well then throw the lorries onto the train. That would reduce some amount of traffic. But I suspect this is all environmental mumbo-jumbo. And then it's not really about traffic volume, but emissions. No-one knows what the future will bring us, but we do know that it will take time unless someone push us forward.

Let's say they introduce "ridiculous" tolls for diesel and petrol-powered vehicles going through this tunnel. Then it could be built as a full standard motorway. But the traffic will stay the same, which really is the point, not how much capacity there is in theory. Also, the eventual increase will be covered by environment-friendly traffic, and the green people could be happy.

Oh: Let's not go into how environmentally friendly electric-propelled cars really are.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #1803
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There are almost no trucks on the Gotthard route.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #1804
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So it wouldn't be a problem if the tunnel was closed for 3 years, as happened for the Mont Blanc tunnel.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #1805
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It's still a vital link, but the trucks do not cause much problems there.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #1806
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I don't see why Switzerland should work to allow transit of European road vehicles, if Europe (and in particular Italy) doesn't seem capable to handle Swiss trains coming from the two AlpTransit railways...

(beside that I doubt on steep and mountainous roads a diesel vehicle has the same effect that on the flat Dutch territory)
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #1807
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Aha, so the Swiss attitude is nothing more than bullying foreigners.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #1808
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It's simply reciprocity. I don't see why I should allow you to pass through my land, if you don't do the same allowing me to transit via your territory. But I would be happy to find an agreement that can satisfy both of us.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #1809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
It's simply reciprocity. I don't see why I should allow you to pass through my land, if you don't do the same allowing me to transit via your territory. But I would be happy to find an agreement that can satisfy both of us.
Because children think like that.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #1810
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So your government is childish...

http://www.ferpress.it/?p=13534
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #1811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
So your government is childish...

http://www.ferpress.it/?p=13534
Of course it is.
(By the way, Matteoli was minister in Berlusconi's government, so in no way it was MY government)
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Old June 25th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #1812
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Switzerland is already paying out its own budget the two longest rail tunnels to serve the north-south axis, so there's no need for an increase of capacity of any other infrastructure; If those affected by this massive investment don't do their fair share of work to fully take advantage of it, then let them die in a bottleneck.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #1813
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Switzerland is not making charity work, tunnels will be well repaid by fares, so don't play the martyr, please.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #1814
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Still I don't see why a road bottleneck in Switzerland is considered a problem, while a rail bottleneck in Italy is not.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #1815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Still I don't see why a road bottleneck in Switzerland is considered a problem, while a rail bottleneck in Italy is not.
There isn't a "Pianura Padana Ladscape Initiative" barring construction of rail links in the flatland of Northern Italy. What exists are budget limitations and other problems.

A situation that is inherently different than that of Switzerland.

Moreover, comparing the situation of the closure of the Mont Blanc tunnel is grossly unfair:

(1) it was an accident, first place

(2) the Fréjus and Grand San Bernardo tunnels had spare capacity to deal with the traffic in a way that the San Bernardino tunnel doesn't (in relate to the Gotthard)

(3) they worked to restore the tunnel back to service as soon as possible.

(4) the Mont Blanc had and still has less than half the traffic of the Gotthard.

What Switzerland is doing is acting as in middle ages, in which if you controlled a feud (kanton) strategically located, you'd just leverage your position to extort travelers or cease commerce flow altogether.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 01:33 PM   #1816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaud View Post
Switzerland is already paying out its own budget the two longest rail tunnels to serve the north-south axis,
Those tunnels don't/won't even carry RO-RO trucks or car shuttles...
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Old June 25th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #1817
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Quote:
There isn't a "Pianura Padana Ladscape Initiative" barring construction of rail links in the flatland of Northern Italy. What exists are budget limitations and other problems.
Italy has invested billions in other railways, and still want to continue. So there is no money shortage, at least officially.

Quote:
(2) the Fréjus and Grand San Bernardo tunnels had spare capacity to deal with the traffic in a way that the San Bernardino tunnel doesn't (in relate to the Gotthard)
There are also the Brenner and the Simplon.

Quote:
(3) they worked to restore the tunnel back to service as soon as possible.
No, they keep the tunnel closed to improve its safety equipment. That's good, but strictly speaking it could have been reopened before.

Quote:
What Switzerland is doing is acting as in middle ages, in which if you controlled a feud (kanton) strategically located, you'd just leverage your position to extort travellers or cease commerce flow altogether.
That's the same which is doing Italy.

Quote:
Those tunnels don't/won't even carry RO-RO trucks or car shuttles...
Truck shuttles may be offered, but on longer distances (at least Basel-Chiasso) and in priority for trailers alone, containers and swap bodies, run by private companies without subsidies as much as possible.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #1818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Still I don't see why a road bottleneck in Switzerland is considered a problem, while a rail bottleneck in Italy is not.
Both are problems.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #1819
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What does Gotthard have to do with something in Italy?
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Old June 25th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #1820
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What does Gotthard have to do with something in Italy?
I bet 80% or more of the freight traffic on the Gotthard goes to/comes from Italy.
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