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Alpine transit traffic remains stable in 2008

The amount of goods in transit through the Alps increased slightly in 2008 to reach almost 40 million tonnes, the Swiss transport ministry announced on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said that 64 per cent of the total amount was carried by rail and the rest by 1.27 million trucks.

The total tonnage represented a one per cent increase over 2007.

The ministry says that the global financial crisis caused a decrease in the flow of transalpine goods in the second half of the year, a trend that is set to continue this year.

It noted that 973,000 trucks had crossed the Alps via the Gotthard, 163,000 via the San Bernardino and 82,000 used the Simplon route.

As a comparison, almost two million trucks used the Brenner route in Austria.

Switzerland's alpine transport policy is based on shifting goods from road to rail.

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