The Lötschberg Tunnel

The Lötschberg Tunnel, located in the Bernese Alps, is a key component of the Swiss railway network that connects Kandersteg and Goppenstein. The tunnel allows vehicles to be transported on trains through the mountains, offering a unique travel experience and highlighting Swiss engineering prowess.

While Switzerland has numerous road tunnels, this is one of the few that carry drivers and their vehicles on open-sided railway carriages. While it doesn't significantly improve travelling times, it does offer long-distance drivers a short break.

Between Kandersteg and Goppenstein: Lötschberg Tunnel’s Strategic Position

The Lötschberg Tunnel, sometimes called the Lötschberg summit tunnel, traverses the imposing Lötschberg mountain range. It connects Kandersteg in the canton of Bern with Goppenstein in the canton of Valais. There is a single track in either direction. Renowned for its remarkable engineering and strategic location, this tunnel forms an essential part of the Swiss transport network, enabling efficient transit between Bern and the Valais region. Users drive their vehicles directly onto a train to be carried through the tunnel. Its integration with the A6 and A9 motorways ensures seamless travel for

commuters and tourists, highlighting Switzerland's commitment to advanced infrastructure and connectivity. Dedicated live news and webcams help ensure efficient travel.

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Lötschberg Tunnel Fees

Users of Swiss national roads and motorways are required by law to purchase a Swiss Vignette, which is available on our site. Therefore, depending on where you approach the tunnel from, it is best to check whether this will be necessary.

In addition to the vignette, there is a payment due to transport your vehicle on the trains through the railway tunnel. Payment for the ticket can be made online, or at the departure terminal.

Elevation and Length of the Lötschberg Tunnel

Here is some more information and statistics related to the Lötschberg Mountain Line:

Location Goppenstein, Ferden, Valais to Kandersteg, Berne, Switzerland
Coordinates 46°28'41.85"N to 7°40'0.80" E
Opened 15 July 1913
Length 14 612 m
Top Elevation 1 240 m (4,070 ft) above sea level
Tunnel Type Single bore with two tracks (Single track in either direction).
Travelling Time on Train Approximately 20 minutes
Frequency Low Season - 15 minutes. Peak Season - 7.5 minutes

Terms of Use & Restrictions

Any licenced driver may make use of the Lötschberg Tunnel railway service. All road users are required to obey traffic regulations and/or officials. Be aware of the prevailing weather conditions that may affect driver safety on the routes to and from the terminals. While the tunnel section remains open throughout the year, there may be the occasional temporary closure due to various factors. Dangerous goods may not be transported through the tunnel.

The following size restrictions apply:

  • 2.50m width
  • 12m length
  • 3.55m height
  • 28t total weight
  • 22 seats

In case of emergency:

  • Remain calm. The train is accompanied by rail personnel.
  • Make sure you follow instructions issued by staff.
  • Never leave the train unless asked to do so by rail personnel.
  • Dial the number 112 in an emergency.
  • Switch your radio to DAB+ for traffic and rail news from SRG/SSR.
  • The tunnel is equipped with emergency lighting. Should you be forced to leave the train, activate the switch by the LEDs.
  • In an emergency, flee in the specified direction on the path to the side of the track. A handrail offers support.
  • Never touch any overhead traction system wires that are hanging down.

Lötschberg Tunnel Current & Live Webcam

The tunnel is open 24/7 throughout the year. Prior to travelling, it is advisable to check the Lötschberg Tunnel weather or the Lötschberg Tunnel webcams, which are available online. Note: The specific service hours might vary based on the regular schedule and any occasional maintenance requirements.

Are there alternative routes to the Lötschberg Tunnel?

There are alternative routes available for travellers who wish to bypass the tunnel. One possible alternative is to take the scenic route via the Simplon Pass, which connects Brig in the canton of Valais with Domodossola in Italy. Additionally, depending on the specific origin and destination, there might be other secondary roads or local routes that can be used to avoid the Lötschberg Tunnel. It is advisable to consult a GPS navigation system or a reliable map for the most suitable alternative route based on your specific travel needs and preferences.

Lötschberg Tunnel FAQ:

  • February 1908: An avalanche killed 13 workers.
  • July 1908: The tunnel was flooded, killing 25.
  • March 1911: Breakthrough was achieved
  • 3 June 1913: Finalization
  • 15 July 1913: Regular service began in 1913.
Rail freight traffic and passenger services.
Car transport is provided by loading the vehicles onto open-sided covered carriages, to be offloaded at the final destination. Passengers remain in the vehicle.
Kandersteg, canton of Bern and Goppenstein, canton of Valais is connected by the rail link.
With two tunnels, Lötschberg Base Tunnel complements the original Lötschberg Summit Tunnel. It significantly enhances the timetable reliability, flexibility, and passenger capacity of the transportation network in the alpine region, facilitating smoother and faster rail connections between the Bernese Oberland region and the Valais and the entire Swiss rail network.