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  #21  
Old 05.05.2008, 14:53
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

You can also try Simplon then Lötschberg - a nice road and you can have a rest on the train going through Lötschberg. There is also a train going through Simplon but it's not as frequent. Going to Basel that might even work out better than Gotthard.

http://www.bls.ch/d/autoverlad/autoverlad.php
http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/reisemarkt/zuege/autoverlad.htm

Grand St Bernard wasn't fun though, scary.

Last edited by Rob; 05.05.2008 at 14:56. Reason: To add links
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  #22  
Old 05.05.2008, 14:58
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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Is the new tunnel that is going to be completed in 20** going to be able to take cars from Jo Public or is it going to be purely freight?
It will be rail only. They might offer an autoverlad as well but I doubt it.
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  #23  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:19
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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It will be rail only. They might offer an autoverlad as well but I doubt it.
Even though they probably will not put trains for passenger cars through the new base tunnel, they may use what will then become the old upper tunnel for this purpose because that tunnel will suddenly get FAR less use. This is currently the case with the Loetschberg tunnel - passenger cars can go on trains through the old upper tunnel, but the new base tunnel is reserved for passenger trains and freight.

However, when the new base tunnel opens then who in their right mind would ever want to drive during peak times? Just take the train all the way! This is already the best option for most people, and it will only get better, while the driving situation looks like it will only get worse - what a wonderful country we live in.
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  #24  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:20
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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You can also try Simplon then Lötschberg - a nice road and you can have a rest on the train going through Lötschberg. There is also a train going through Simplon but it's not as frequent. Going to Basel that might even work out better than Gotthard.

http://www.bls.ch/d/autoverlad/autoverlad.php
http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/reisemarkt/zuege/autoverlad.htm

Grand St Bernard wasn't fun though, scary.
Simplon is a good one and not too difficult. I take Gr. St. Bernard quite often and I don't find it so scary. Maybe I'm just used to it or you need to drive it in a Mini!

I don't like to drive at silly o'clock any more, but really if you must go through Gotthard it's the only time I would do it. (Just make sure it's open as others had said).

You were strangely lucky only waiting 1.5hrs! The very first (and last) time I took the Gotthard we got stuck there for over 6 hours: Never, Never again!!
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  #25  
Old 06.05.2008, 16:42
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

We've just come back from a few days in Italy, near Genova. We left at 4.30 am on thursday morning so had no problems going through the Gotthard and no problems around Milano either. We came back on sunday afternoon, leaving at 2.30 pm. We knew that Milano and the Gotthard would be awful. So we went via Alessandria and up to the Simplon pass. Not much traffic on the autostrada; no problems over the Simplon pass and the way home from there is very easy via the loetschberg tunnel. It took about 1 hour longer than if we had gone the Milano/Gotthard route, assuming no traffic hold ups. I'm so glad we didn't bother with the Gotthard on the way back!
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  #26  
Old 08.05.2008, 11:35
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

If you are driving around Switzerland on or before weekends and public/holidays, might be handy to check out the TCS Traffic Information (D/F/I only). Great for seeing where traffic jams, roadworks and pass closures are all on one site.

They have a very useful Crystal Ball (choose the day you are travelling, and it will cycle through the day and indicate where traffic jams are likely to be). Although, I could imagine it is just the same animation repeated, they might just change the dates ).
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Old 08.05.2008, 13:26
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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If you are driving around Switzerland on or before weekends and public/holidays, might be handy to check out the TCS Traffic Information (D/F/I only). Great for seeing where traffic jams, roadworks and pass closures are all on one site.

They have a very useful Crystal Ball (choose the day you are travelling, and it will cycle through the day and indicate where traffic jams are likely to be). Although, I could imagine it is just the same animation repeated, they might just change the dates ).
Yes that's great! The TCS also have a phone number you can call and ask them how the traffic is on your route.
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Old 16.05.2008, 13:09
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

We are driving from London to Venice through the Gotthard tunnel in 4 weeks for our honeymoon. I am not good in tunnels & after reading all your replied here, we are now worried about teh delays.

We're travelling down there on Monday 23rd June (tunnel early evening) & returning Friday 4th July (tunnel midday).

We've never done this trip beofre & not looking forward to huge delays on the honeymoon.

Also, we think the tunnel may be closed for some o fthe dates.

Can anyone suggest other options, or the best way forward for us please.

Thank you
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  #29  
Old 16.05.2008, 13:43
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Head east on the A3 from Zurich to Chur and head for San Bernadino. I drove that way to Italy last week and it is stunning. It brings you to Como, straight onto the highway South to Milan.

There are roadworks there at the mo but early evening you should be fine. You could even make an extra night of it and stay in Lugano or Como.

If you are coming from the UK consider driving through Germany past Stuttgart to the east of lake Konstance and down into CH through Austria - the route is quicker and quieter and much nicer scenery than down into Basel.

Don't forget to buy your Austrian Vignette as well as for CH though. The last motorway services in Austria sell them both.

Good luck with the wedding!
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  #30  
Old 16.05.2008, 14:01
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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We are driving from London to Venice through the Gotthard tunnel in 4 weeks for our honeymoon. I am not good in tunnels & after reading all your replied here, we are now worried about teh delays.

We're travelling down there on Monday 23rd June (tunnel early evening) & returning Friday 4th July (tunnel midday).

We've never done this trip beofre & not looking forward to huge delays on the honeymoon.

Also, we think the tunnel may be closed for some o fthe dates.

Can anyone suggest other options, or the best way forward for us please.

Thank you
vom 23./24. bis 26./27.Juni 2008 (4 Nächte) von 20:00 - 05:00 Uhr

You need to be at the Gotthard tunnel before 8pm otherwise you'll find it closed. During the week at these times, you should have little bother passing through.

The pass should be open by then too - that's a nice hairpin-up, race-across, hairpin-down experience
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  #31  
Old 16.05.2008, 15:26
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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London to Venice
I agree with gg, although would also recommend you steer clear of Stuttgart, the A8 and the A7 - any of which can, on any given day, cost you as much time as the tunnel.
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  #32  
Old 16.05.2008, 15:38
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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vom 23./24. bis 26./27.Juni 2008 (4 Nächte) von 20:00 - 05:00 Uhr

You need to be at the Gotthard tunnel before 8pm otherwise you'll find it closed. During the week at these times, you should have little bother passing through.

The pass should be open by then too - that's a nice hairpin-up, race-across, hairpin-down experience
Very useful information. We got to the tunnel at 8:05 last sept when it was just closed.

I would never go to Tessin again on the weekend by car again during the summer school holidays - 60% of the traffic were Dutch caravans!
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  #33  
Old 23.05.2008, 15:01
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

The Gotthard Pass is open now.

Not sure when it opened but I went to Ticino yesterday and was expecting a quiet boring mid-day Thursday drive through the tunnel. Wrong, traffic was backed-up before the turnoff to Göschenen, fortunately I spotted the green "open" sign on the board and decided to go over the top. It was magnificent, never driven through those carved out "snow canyons" before My visitors were well impressed as well. So nice we did it again on the way back. Would be even better today in the sunshine.
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  #34  
Old 23.05.2008, 15:05
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Use the "strada alta" via Altanca, make sure you pass Airolo and get straight into the tunnel - just make sure you don't come down from strada alta into Airolo, they usually close that access road and make you drive back to Piora to join the queue...
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  #35  
Old 24.05.2008, 21:21
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

I had similar problem yesterday when we rented the Mobility car and drove thru that tunnel. I was so stressed to return the car on time and even extended the rent... Guess long weekend holidays or Friday afternoon makes people moving around slow
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  #36  
Old 25.05.2008, 23:02
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Drove the San Barnardino Pass today after I took a disliking to the Gotthard tunnel traffic queue.

Word of warning, if you see cloud cover up to your right from the autobahn/ Gotthard south services and decide to take the San Barnardino Pass, use extreme care!!!

It was open today but then again in places it was extremely hairy with visibility down to 5/10m, which is no fun when you have a 2nd gear 180 degree hairpin coming up with little warning until you approach it. So if you are of weak will or do not have nerves of steel don't touch it!

Luckily I had GPS which forewarned me of any impending doom/hairpins in zero visiblity .

Cleared up at the top and coming down the other side wasn't so bad!

I reckon a beautiful drive in summer but dangerous as hell this time of year, some complete nutters on that road.

As I say unless you are completely sure of your driving skills, do not touch it, if it looks iffy. (I did question my sanity at several points today!!!)
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Old 21.07.2008, 01:20
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

traveling tomorrow (Monday) Lugano-Luzern. I was thinking to take the Gothard tunnel (should arrive there around 1:00pm).
anyone on here with crystal ball to advise on traffic conditions at this time of the year ? should I avoid it and try another route ?

when I went to Lugano on Saturday, the north bound queue at Ariolo was about 10km. I'm just hoping Monday may be bit easier...

thanks
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  #38  
Old 21.07.2008, 08:35
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Friday and Saturday are the worst days southbound. Saturday and Sunday are worse northbound.

Saturday tends to be changeover day for Italian holiday places; the weekend is when all the Swiss head to warmer climes.

Monday lunchtime should be a breeze in my opinion.
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Old 21.07.2008, 15:38
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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Friday and Saturday are the worst days southbound. Saturday and Sunday are worse northbound.

Saturday tends to be changeover day for Italian holiday places; the weekend is when all the Swiss head to warmer climes.

Monday lunchtime should be a breeze in my opinion.
Totally agreed. If you have to travel at peak time, you consider travelling via the pass which is far more pituresque.
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Old 25.07.2008, 02:23
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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Friday and Saturday are the worst days southbound. Saturday and Sunday are worse northbound.

Saturday tends to be changeover day for Italian holiday places; the weekend is when all the Swiss head to warmer climes.

Monday lunchtime should be a breeze in my opinion.

Monday trip through the tunnel was really easy, perhaps +/- 100m queue
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