Government discusses Lötschberg Tunnel expansion
Politicians in canton Valais are calling for a full-scale expansion of the Lötschberg Tunnel.
There are improvement plans in the pipeline – but these would mean a complete closure of the tunnel for around six months.
Such a long shut down is causing panic in Valais. The economic hit from tourism would be significant, say business leaders – and 13,000 commuters use the tunnel every day.
The government says it will examine the idea of a completely new tunnel. At only 7km long, it would be relatively short.
Valais MPs say when the costings are worked out, it should take into account the cost of a long closure, which would be avoided with a new tunnel.