Useful Information

Location: At the Lötschberg Pass, between Frutigen and Raron.
Open: All year dialy by train...
Fee: train ticket.
Classification: SubterraneaTunnel
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: Lötschbergtunnel: L=14,612 m.
Lötschberg-Basistunnel: L=34,600 m.
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1906 start of the construction of the old Lötschberg tunnel.
12-APR-1994 start on exploratory tunnel.
05-JUL-1999 start of the tunnel at the Mitholz base point.
11-AUG-2000 Christening ceremony for the Lötschberg base tunnel north.
28-APR-2005 the main breakthrough in the east tube.
15-JUN-2007 Lötschberg-Basistunnel (Lötschberg base tunnel) opened to the public.


The name Lötschberg contains the word Berg, which means mountain. So people generally guess there is a mountain called Lötschberg above the tunnel, and many people think there was also a Lötschberg pass. Both do not exist in this form. Lötschberg is the name of the tunnel, and it crosses the mountain ridge between the Kandertal in Kanton Bern and the Lötschental in Kanton Wallis. The whole mountain ridge is called Lötschberg. There is the valley called Lötschental and a pass called Lötschenpass, which is only for mountaineers, there is no road across the pass.

The old Lötschberg Tunnel is a railroad tunnel which is used for Autoverladung or Autoverlad (motorail). This works similar to a ferry, cars are driving into the train on one side, the train goes through the tunnel, and on the other side the cars leave the train again. The people stay in their cars for the 15 minutes train ride through the tunnel.

The new tunnel will make this old tunnel obsolete so it might be closed in the future. However, history tells that old train infrastructure in Switzerland is maintained even if the original need is gone. It may be used for the comfortable Autoverlad between Kandersteg and Brig, or probably for historic train tours which are common and popular all over Switzerland. At the moment [2008] the new tunnel is open and working, but the second tube for one section is still missing. The decision if the old tunnel will be closed will be made when this tube is also completed.

The new Lötschberg-Basistunnel (base tunnel) between Frutigen and Raron lowers the niveau of the Alp transit. This means the trains do not have to climb so high and do not have to descent on the other side, which saves energy and time. This tunnel is part of the NEAT projects (Neue Eisenbahn-Alpentransversalen = new railroad Alps tranversals), together with the SubterraneaGotthard Basistunnel (Gotthard base tunnel). It will be integrated into a European network of high speed trains, like TGV and ICE. The tunnel will allow speed around 250 km/h through a two-tube, single-track rail tunnel. This means that each tube is carrying only trains running into one direction. The advantage is clear: trains can be scheduled continuously in both directions, there will be no waiting time. The distance between two trains depends on the security concept, and may be minimized in the future by new technologies.