Rail takes greater share of transalpine cargo in first half of 2011
There was an increase in both road and rail freight through the Swiss Alps in the first six months of 2011, with rail taking 64.1% of the total against 62.6% in the same period in 2010 according to the first semi-annual report 2011 of BAV, the Swiss Ministry of Transport. In all, 20.9 Mio net tones were transported, which equals a growth of 9.9% compared to the first six months of 2010. The total amount of transalpine freight has now reached similar levels to before the economic crisis in 2009.
The "unaccompanied combined transport" – where drivers hand over vehicles or containers to continue the journey by train – has grown most since the economic crisis. A record amount crossed the Alps during the first six months, accounting for 39.6% of all transalpine cargo. Wagonload traffic also experienced double-digit growth, with a total market share of 20%, gained almost evenly by both Swiss rail axes. Only the "rolling highway", which carries trucks between Freiburg in Germany and Novara in Italy, grew moderate, even experiencing a slight drop in its business in the second quarter after having to cancel 60 trains – equivalent to about 1,000 trucks – because of a fire which temporarily closed the Simplon tunnel in June.