Swiis/Italian Tunnel Fire

06/10/2011 - 08:20

Not sure if this has any effects on people here but,the Simplon tunnel is closed due to a fire.www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Train_fire_causes_closure_of_Simplon_tun...


"Limited traffic reopens in Simplon tunnel The key Simplon rail tunnel linking Switzerland and Italy has been reopened to traffic, more than two days after a devastating fire in a freight train. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) said at midday on Saturday that one shuttle train an hour in each direction would use the undamaged second tunnel which runs parallel to the one in which a goods train caught fire on Thursday morning. It issued a provisional timetable valid until Monday evening. Passengers for Milan, who would normally travel straight through, will have to change twice, adding about 20 minutes to their journey time.   A limited freight service will also be operated.   The second tunnel had been put out of operation by smoke penetrating through the transverse safety tunnels that link the two lines.                ..............   The cause of the fire, in which no-one was injured, is still being investigated.   It occurred just before the beginning of the long Whitsun weekend, when many people travel south to Italy. While the Simplon was blocked, passengers were taken over the pass by bus, and many others heeded recommendations to use the Gotthard route instead. An SBB spokesmen said trains going that way were “full but not overcrowded”.   Meanwhile, those travelling south by road also had to be patient. At eight o’clock on Saturday morning there was already an 11 kilometre queue at the northern entrance to the Gotthard road tunnel, entailing a wait of nearly three hours. By midday this had dropped to two hours.   However, the longest holdups were in the southern canton of Graubünden, where vehicles were apparently heading south via the San Bernardino pass." swissinfo.ch and agencies