25 years ago Rail tunnel history in the making By Ester Unterfinger Direct democracy Business ... Print comment Open popup to share Share: share on twitter share on facebook send by e-mail more... See in other languages: 8 See in other languages: 8 Languages: 8 (ar) أول نقرة لحفر أنفاق جبال الألب تمت في صناديق الإقتراع (es) Primer mazazo de los túneles, en las urnas (fr) La première percée des tunnels alpins s'est faite dans les urnes (it) Lo scavo dei tunnel di base nelle Alpi è iniziato alle urne (ja) アルプスのトンネル建設 最初の一歩は国民投票 (pt) O primeiro passo para os túneis alpinos se deu nas urnas (ru) Альпийский проект NEAT и прямая демократия (zh) 阿尔卑斯隧道的首个突破总是收获于投票箱 May 28 1990: Transport minister Adolf Ogi (middle) with the director of the federal transport office, Fritz Bürki, to his right, present the bold plans in Bern. March 13 1991: the House of Representatives vote overwhelmingly in favour, 118 to 18. September 14, 1991: The Green party votes to launch a referendum against the tunnel building, since financing isn't assured. May 5, 1992: Together with Europe: Switzerland decides to give priority to rail for freight transport. At the inauguration of the Busto Arsizio II piggyback terminal in Italy, Minister Adolf Ogi (right) poses with Bernd Menzinger, President of the combined transport company, Hupac. September 17, 1992: The campaign for the vote is particularly strong in the Alpine canton of Uri, where the Gotthard Base Tunnel is to be constructed. Opponents of the project present the bull symbolizing Uri cut in half by the railway, while supporters oppose them with a pickaxe. The campaign in Uri is not limited to posters: Oponnents write 'No to Neat' on the walls. And the roads. At the same time, support was also expressed for Switzerland's entry into the European Economic Area (EWR in German), which the people rejected in December, 1992. 23 June 1992: An information train supporting the tunnel construction tours the country. March 1996: Parliament gives the go-ahead for the simultaneous construction of the two tunnels Lötschberg (photo) and Gotthard Base Tunnel. November 4, 1999. First blasts at the Gotthard site. The mythical devil from the Gotthard mountain massif is chased off for good. Abstimmung 1992 über die NEAT This content was published on September 27, 2017 11:00 AMSep 27, 2017 - 11:00 Exactly 25 years ago on September 27, Swiss voters gave the green light to the digging of two long rail tunnels through the Alps.A new generation of voters looks back on the work set in motion by their parents. Neuer Inhalt Horizontal Line subscription form Form for signing up for free newsletter. Sign up for our free newsletter and get the top stories delivered to your inbox. Email address swissinfo EN The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired. swissinfo.ch Join us on Facebook!