Advantages for rail passengers.
The 4-metre corridor on the Gotthard route also produces benefits for passenger services. Over the next few years, SBB aims to continuously expand its offering on this popular route. When the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels go into operation in late 2016 and late 2020 respectively, journey times between German-speaking Switzerland on the one side and Ticino and Italy on the other will be considerably shortened. For example, it will take less than two hours to travel from Zurich to Lugano. From the end of 2020, travel time between German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino will have decreased by up to an hour.
Currently, some 9,000 passengers travel through the Gotthard every day. By 2025, the planned improvement will lead to a doubling in passenger numbers on the Gotthard route. SBB is reckoning on 15,000 passengers every day as early as 2020. In order to be able to carry these additional passengers, SBB will purchase further new trains by 2020. Thanks to the 4-metre corridor, it will also be possible to run double-deck trains, allowing passengers to complete their journeys south or north speedily and in comfort at peak times such as weekends or holiday periods.