Ceneri Base Tunnel
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The Ceneri Base Tunnel (CBT) is a railway base tunnel under construction in Switzerland's Canton Ticino. It passes under Monte Ceneri between Camorino in the Magadino Flat and Vezia near Lugano, and will bypass the current high-level rail route through the Monte Ceneri Tunnel. It is composed of two single-track tunnels, each 15.4 km (9.6 mi) long. It is another part of the Swiss AlpTransit initiative NRLA. The final breakthroughs took place on 21 January 2016 (west tube) and 26 January 2016 (east tube). The tunnels are now being equipped and rail service is expected to start in December 2020.
On completion, the CBT will be an important feeder in the south for the Gotthard Base Tunnel as the existing, proportionally steep track over Monte Ceneri is not suitable for high-speed rail or heavy freight trains. Another feeder is the Luino link along Lake Maggiore which is about to be upgraded by Italy in prospect of the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Both links meet in the Magadino Flat in the future Camorino Node (Italian: Nodo di Camorino).
The CBT and Gotthard Base Tunnels are being built under contract from the Swiss Federal Government by Alptransit Gotthard AG. Construction of the two single-track bores started in March 2006. The official start was celebrated on 2 June 2006 with the laying of a foundation stone.
An exploration tunnel near Sigirino was excavated between 1999 and 2003 to gain geological data on the rock formations at the CBT's level. Based on those data, it was decided to only drill a small part using a tunnel boring machine while the rest was excavated with traditional blasting methods.
The CBT will ease local train traffic, mainly between the two major cities Locarno and Lugano but also between Bellinzona and Lugano. Travel time on the S-Bahn from Locarno to Lugano should drop from 50 to 22 minutes.
In June 2009, the Board of Directors of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd announced the construction contract for the tunnel had been awarded to the Consorzio Condotte Cossi consortium, at a value of 987 million Swiss francs. Boring work on the tunnels started in spring 2010. Excavation was completed January 26, 2016. Railway infrastructure will start to be installed. Commercial usage of the Ceneri Base Tunnel through revenue train services is expected to start in late 2020.
In March 2010, it was announced that blasting had begun on the main drives of the CBT. Tunneling reached full-speed by the end of 2010.
Breakthrough in the west tube between Sigirino and Vezia occurred on 17 March 2015 at 12pm local time. 
Breakthrough in the east tube between Sigirino and Vezia occurred on 30 March 2015 at 5pm local time.
Breakthrough in the west tube between Sigirino and Vigana occurred on 21 January 2016 at 12pm local time.
Breakthrough in the east tube between Sigirino and Vigana occurred on 26 January 2016
The monthly progress update graphic is available online.
- "Ceneri Base Tunnel". AlpTransit. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Ceneri Base Tunnel: Operational opening expected in December 2020". AlpTransit. 15 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- "Ceneri Base Tunnel: Blast-driving the main tunnel from Sigirino begins". AlpTransit. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Alptransit Gotthard AG - Official project site
- Alptransit Gotthard AG - Status of construction: Ceneri
- Alptransit Portal of the Swiss Federal Archives