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  #41  
Old 25.07.2008, 15:13
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

  • On Swiss Teletext Page 491 you can check the current traffic situation (whether there are traffic jams) at the Gotthard Tunnel
  • Traffic forecasts for Summer 2008 on specific dates can be found on the website of TCS - the Swiss Touring Club, although the forecasts are only limited useful, it's only indicated the risk of traffic jam with a colour, not how much/how long.
  • Maintenance on the Gotthard Tunnel is planned for following dates:
    • 8./9. to 11./12. Sep 2008 (4 Nights) from 20:00 - 05:00
    • 15./16. to 18./19. Sep 2008 (4 Nights) from 20:00 - 05:00
    • 22./23. to 25./26. Sep 2008 (4 Nights) from 20:00 - 05:00
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  #42  
Old 02.08.2008, 18:47
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

We're heading north from Lugano (to Grindelwald) via A2 for the first time since moving here. My husband is going nuts looking at all the delays at the tunnel now. We leave Monday, August 11. Is there ever a better time of day? We might consider the pass if anyone can advise. This is our first big driving trip, but considering switching trains three or four times with two kids, and infant, and one grandmother, we thought driving might be better, we'll see!!
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  #43  
Old 02.08.2008, 19:03
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Monday heading north should be ok. Just not first thing....11am or later.
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  #44  
Old 02.08.2008, 19:53
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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We're heading north from Lugano (to Grindelwald) via A2 for the first time since moving here. My husband is going nuts looking at all the delays at the tunnel now. We leave Monday, August 11. Is there ever a better time of day? We might consider the pass if anyone can advise. This is our first big driving trip, but considering switching trains three or four times with two kids, and infant, and one grandmother, we thought driving might be better, we'll see!!
I would leave home at 3am.
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  #45  
Old 02.08.2008, 21:23
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Three a.m. sounds great with a 7 month old. But, then again, maybe she will sleep until we've made it to the other side.

This isn't Iowa anymore is it??????????????
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  #46  
Old 02.08.2008, 21:25
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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We're heading north from Lugano (to Grindelwald) via A2 for the first time since moving here. My husband is going nuts looking at all the delays at the tunnel now. We leave Monday, August 11. Is there ever a better time of day? We might consider the pass if anyone can advise. This is our first big driving trip, but considering switching trains three or four times with two kids, and infant, and one grandmother, we thought driving might be better, we'll see!!
How about ditching the tunnel altogether and driving the Nufenen-Grimsel route? Just make sure to get off the A2 early enough. The Quinto exit should be OK unless traffic is especially bad. If you want to be on the safe side, get off at Faido.
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  #47  
Old 02.08.2008, 22:14
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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We're heading north from Lugano (to Grindelwald) via A2 for the first time since moving here. My husband is going nuts looking at all the delays at the tunnel now. We leave Monday, August 11. Is there ever a better time of day? We might consider the pass if anyone can advise. This is our first big driving trip, but considering switching trains three or four times with two kids, and infant, and one grandmother, we thought driving might be better, we'll see!!
Another variant: Drive the Centovalli through Italy. Reenter Switzerland via Simplon to Brig. Then you have the choice of:
  • Either over the Grimsel pass to Meiringen.
  • Or put the car on the train through the Lotschberg tunnel to Kandersteg, then drive to Interlaken.
Driving the Alpine passes may not be fun if it is raining heavily and even challenging if you are not Alpine experienced. My experience is that Simplon (all weather pass) is easier than the Nufenen (only open in the summer) that another person suggested.
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  #48  
Old 04.08.2008, 10:06
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

I spent the weekend in Italy although it was in Piemonte not Milan and we had no traffic problems at all in either direction, we went via the San Bernardo tunnel which seems to suffer less than the Gotthard.
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  #49  
Old 04.08.2008, 12:31
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

i wish i'd found this post before the weekend... my partner and i spent the weekend cycling in and around south of davos... and on the way back , we had a last cycle near san bernadino and headed home to Montreux at about 3pm but by the time we hit Quinto an hour or so later... there was the biggest queue of traffic i'd ever seen... having never been through the region before, we had no idea that it could simply be congestion...for just over two hours we were stuck in the traffic jam in the blazing heat.. when we eventually managed to turn off to go via the Nufenen pass, as we crossed over the motorway, I could see that there were traffic lights directing the traffic into the tunnel... i dread to think how much longer we would have been in the traffic if we actually needed to go home via the tunnel. a lesson learned.
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  #50  
Old 04.08.2008, 12:51
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Well, I'm not sure what we are going to do now. I was using Mappy online and it has us going (without the express) through Italy, then north through Sempione. It appears to be longer driving time when compared to the A2/A1 route, but I hate to consider waiting with a baby in the car for the Gotthard tunnel. Our first day of driving is the longest to Charmey (then we have two nights in Grindewald, then back to Lugano).

I appreciate the advice from others so much! We'll let you know how the route goes once we come back!

Cheers!
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  #51  
Old 04.08.2008, 13:26
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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Another variant: Drive the Centovalli through Italy. Reenter Switzerland via Simplon to Brig. Then you have the choice of:
  • Either over the Grimsel pass to Meiringen.
  • Or put the car on the train through the Lotschberg tunnel to Kandersteg, then drive to Interlaken.
Driving the Alpine passes may not be fun if it is raining heavily and even challenging if you are not Alpine experienced. My experience is that Simplon (all weather pass) is easier than the Nufenen (only open in the summer) that another person suggested.
You can drive onto the train that goes under the Simplon pass as well.
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  #52  
Old 04.08.2008, 14:35
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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I spent the weekend in Italy although it was in Piemonte not Milan and we had no traffic problems at all in either direction, we went via the San Bernardo tunnel which seems to suffer less than the Gotthard.
I was also in Italy at the weekend - Friday San Bernadino tunnel approx 13:30 soutbound, Sunday again San Bernadino tunnel approx 19:00 northbound, no traffic hold ups either direction.
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  #53  
Old 04.08.2008, 16:44
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

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Maybe I'm just used to it or you need to drive it in a Mini!
Definitely only in a Mini
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  #54  
Old 05.08.2008, 13:34
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

I was also in Italy over the weekend, drove at around 7pm northbound back via the San Bernardino tunnel direction Zurich without any delay, went very smooth.

The traffic radio information reported a 5km traffic jam at the Gotthard northbound, an estimated waiting time of about 1.5 hour. Even at 9pm in the evening there was still about 2km traffic jam. In the summer months and peak times, we'll now always take the Bernardino tunnel northbound. The build-up of cars at the Gotthard started already around midday on Sunday so to avoid it you'd have to really leave early Sunday morning and basically give up a day in Italy. The best source of information on the road is the radio with traffic information so you can then choose Bernardino or Gotthard. In case of doubt: choose Bernardino. In case Gotthard is without jams (or 1km only) I would choose Gotthard.

Driving a mountain pass with lots of hair pins and curves is nice if you feel like it. If you simply want to drive home after a holiday, nothing beats a tunnel, which saves considerable time and effort compared to the pass. The car train ("Autoverladung") can also be an alternative, nevertheless takes much longer than driving through a tunnel. You'd easily wait about 15-20min before the car train departs your car onto the train and then the train quite slowly goes through the tunnel. We experienced that at the Furka Autoverladung to go into Wallis. A nice experience though, but tunnels are the quickest and most efficient option to cross the Alps - no wonder the Swiss are so fond of constructing tunnels .
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  #55  
Old 22.08.2008, 13:26
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

We ended up driving to from Lugano via Locarno and entering Italy at Comedo, then up to Svizzera and taking the Simplon Pass. It was quite beautiful for our first mountain pass. Thursday evening about 9 p.m. we returned to Lugano via the Gottard Tunnel and had no delays at all. Tuesday morning we had to make a return to Interlaken to pick up my mom from the hospital, and came back to Lugano Wed, both trips had no delays in the tunnel. For more info (or if you have advice) please see accident in Grindelwald!

Thanks,
Lea
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  #56  
Old 15.07.2010, 01:51
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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 ).
and according to this site, on 25 of July, from 21:00 there will be no traffic jams near Gotthard. (and only yellow from 19:00). It's quite different from what you say about Sunday. any idea why? I will be travelling from Genoa to Zurich on 25 of July and i was wondering who is right? you or this site? or maybe i misunderstood and traffic jams near Gotthard on sunday evenings are not common?
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  #57  
Old 15.07.2010, 02:01
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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 ).
and according to this site, on 25 of July, from 21:00 there will be no traffic jams near Gotthard. (and only yellow from 19:00). It's quite different from what you say about Sunday. any idea why? I will be travelling from Genoa to Zurich on 25 of July and i was wondering who is right? you or this site? or maybe i misunderstood and traffic jams near Gotthard on sunday evenings are not common?
Who knows? Maybe something changed in the two-plus years since litespeed made his post?

Just a thought...
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  #58  
Old 15.07.2010, 09:52
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

Avoid the Gotthard tunnel (south to north) on Sunday afternoons/evenings - unless you leave the Bellinzona area around 8pm - and then it isn't usually too bad.

Friday evenings (north to south) are also very busy

Saturday is difficult to judge - Saturday is the traditional change over day - but I have never found it that extreme in terms of traffic.
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  #59  
Old 16.07.2010, 00:33
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

So I take it that northbound on a Friday is not too bad? I'll be doing that in a couple of weeks. But if we get started early and the weather is good, we might take the road over the pass instead.
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  #60  
Old 16.07.2010, 00:47
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Re: Driving via Gotthard tunnel - never again!

I'd take the pass. I've never found the pass particularly bad from a traffic perspective and it seems to take only 20 minutes or so more than the tunnel -- provided you can avoid stopping to look at the view! It's a great drive, anyway, and far more interesting than the straight road through the tunnel -- even if the traffic is flowing through the tunnel.

Of course, this only applies late spring to early autumn, and only if the pass is open!
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