Chance Ceneri 2020

FS Italiane, together with the German Railways (DB) and Swiss Railways (FFS), signs a declaration of intent to increase the quantity and speed of freight and passenger connections

With the joint declaration of intent, “Chance Ceneri 2020”, the three railways - DB, SBB and FS Italiane, in the persons of Richard Lutz, Andreas Meyer, and Gianfranco Battisti respectively – have undertaken to join forces to take a qualitative leap in European mobility together. The aim is to increase the quantity and speed of freight and passenger connections, improve punctuality and simplify the procedures for purchasing international tickets.

With the commissioning of the tunnel the base of Monte Ceneri (GbC) in December 2020, the new transalpine railway (Nuova Ferrovia Transalpina - NFTA) shall be completed. Thus, the project for a lowland railway across the Alps shall be implemented, thanks to which European Mobility will make a qualitative leap. 

Andreas Meyer, CEO of FFS, underlines, “Our objective is not only to open a new gallery but to also increase capacity, improve punctuality and reduce journey times for goods and travellers.”

The declaration contains ambitious objectives and provides an overview of the envisaged measures for the international freight and passenger traffic. In a joint statement, the three CEOs of the railway companies - Richard Lutz (DB), Andreas Meyer (FFS) and Gianfranco Battisti (FS) - put their signature to their commitment to adopt all measures necessary for such purposes.

“The completion of the NFTA sees an ulterior important step for the Rhine-Alps corridor, from Rotterdam and Antwerp through to Genoa. This represents another important improvement for our common customers,” says Richard Lutz, Chairman of DB’s Board of Directors.

This reinforced cooperation makes a significant contribution to ensuring that the low-lying railway along the Rhine-Alps corridor is a veritable turning point for European Mobility.

The FS Italiane Group plays an active and essential part in the realisation of the Rotterdam-Genoa railway corridor,” confirmed Gianfranco Battisti, CEO and General Manager of FS Italiane. “After the completion of the San Gotthard Tunnel, the Third Crossing in Italy is the most important project of the Corridor and shall make the port of Genoa the southern access point to European markets for goods hailing from all over the world, 70% of which move by sea”, concluded Battisti.

The key points of “Chance Ceneri 2020”

One of the ambitious objectives set in the “Chance Ceneri 2020” is to reduce transport time to two hours for the traffic of goods along the Rhine-Alps corridor between Genoa and Rotterdam. This will allow freight traffic customers to cut costs, thus increasing the competitiveness of rail compared to road. In addition, by reducing the travel times, railway nodes are offloaded. The gallery at the base of Monte Ceneri will also support the transfer of traffic from road to rail, in that it shall create an additional capacity for over 3,000 semitrailers per day.

In international passenger traffic, travel time between Zurich and Milan should go from 3.5 to around 3 hours with the 2021 schedule. The offer will be extended and increased from 8 to 10 pairs of trains per day. Furthermore more, new direct connections to Genoa and Bologna are also planned. The aim is also to simplify and standardise online international ticket sales by publishing all available special offers with the possibility to book directly. The commissioning of the gallery at the base of Monte Ceneri will see the start of a new era for public transport in Switzerland: in Ticino, the global “Metrò Ticino” system will double the railway offering and - thanks to a new direct Lugano-Locarno connection - journey times will be reduced by more than half. DB, FFS and FS Italiane will ensure the realisation of the concept with specific work programmes. In concrete terms, the aim is to strengthen the collaboration and coordination processes between the railway partners and to enact measures regarding: network development, integrated schedule planning, international coordination of worksites, operation, disruption management and interoperability.