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Swiss-Italian tunnel ready to take lorry freight in June

Moritz Leuenberger (left) and Pier Luigi Bersani (right) at a press conference following today's meeting Keystone

The Swiss transport minister, Moritz Leuenberger, has said trains carrying heavy goods vehicles will be able to use the Lötschberg and Simplon tunnels, which link Switzerland to Italy, from June.

Leuenberger made the announcement after a meeting in Milan with his Italian counterpart, Pier Luigi Bersani. During the talks Bersani promised Italy would finish its portion of the rail link by the end of May.

The tunnel, originally scheduled to open at the beginning of the year, will now open on June 11. Despite the delay, Leuenberger said the June opening was a cause for “great jubilation.”

The corridor, which is known as the “Huckepack” in German-speaking Switzerland, will serve to transport trucks that are over four metres high across the Simplon and Lötschberg mountains.

The project was launched as part of efforts to shift goods traffic from Swiss roads to the railways.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR