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Transfer from road to rail

Image Transfer from road to rail

The transfer of freight from road to rail is a decisive step towards environmentally- friendly and socially responsible transport. Rail freight consumes less energy and causes less air and noise pollution than truck transport.

The opening of the Gotthard rail base tunnel in December 2016 was a milestone for the transfer of freight from road to rail. The upcoming completion of the new rail link through the Alps will finally provide sufficient capacity for the transfer of freight from road to rail. The “Traffic Transfer Act” stipulates that only 650,000 trucks may cross the Swiss Alps per year in the future.

On 8 December 2016, the Alpine Initiative acted to show that it loves the Alps and thus welcomes the opening of the base tunnel.

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However, the road-rail transfer will not happen by itself. The playing field is distorted in favour of road transport (as regards security controls, working conditions, the internalisation of external costs, etc.). To reach the transfer goal, the Swiss government needs to consistently pursue its transfer policy. The Alpine Initiative proposes the following measures:

  1. Introduction of an Alpine Transit Charge (Toll+) for transalpine freight vehicles or a maximum increase in the kilometre-based HGV charge.
  2. Development of the kilometre-based HGV charge.
  3. Fleet targets to reduce the CO2 emissions of trucks.
  4. Implementation of the planned intensification of truck controls and construction of the long-awaited control centre south of the Gotthard.
  5. General ban on transporting hazardous goods on road transit routes.
  6. Maintenance of compensation payments for rail until the introduction of an Alpine Crossing Exchange.
  7. Active promotion of innovations in rail freight transport.
  8. Priority for freight transport in the STEP rail programme 2030/2035.
  9. Europe-wide communication campaign on the road-rail transfer by the Swiss Confederation.
  10. Equal working conditions on road and rail.

“Measures to reach to transfer target” document (in German).

Alpine Initiative

The Alpine Initiative is a Swiss association. In 1989 the association launched the popular initiative "for the protection of the Alpine region from transit traffic", that was accepted on the 20th February 1994 by a majority of both the Swiss population and the cantons. 

Alpine Initiative
Hellgasse 23
CH-6460 Altdorf UR
phone +41 41 870 97 81
Donations: CH4109000000190062469