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Derailment damages close world’s longest rail tunnel until next September

Switzerland’s national rail operator said Thursday the world’s longest rail tunnel won’t be fully reopened to train traffic until next September, again pushing back the target date for repairs of damage caused by a cargo train derailment.

The Swiss federal railway operator, known by its German-language acronym SBB, said the damage from the Aug. 10 derailment in the Gotthard tunnel, Switzerland’s main north-south rail thoroughfare, is “much more significant than first imagined.”

The tunnel is a crucial thoroughfare for goods and cargo, particularly between Germany to the north and Italy to the south. Last year, more than two-thirds of rail freight traffic through the Alps passed through the tunnel, according to the Swiss government.


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