The Swiss Cargo Sous Terrain project is a total logistics system for the flexible and emission-free transport of smaller goods. City centers are connected to various logistics locations by means of tunnels. That seems like future music. But the project is now actually starting.
CST must become a sustainable, comprehensive logistics system for emission-free and climate-neutral delivery traffic. The basis is emission-free transport via underground tunnels. The above-ground distribution also takes place with emission-free vehicles. For transport over the “last mile”, we work together with a large number of logistics companies. By 2045, CST should form an important part of daily logistics in Switzerland and of the total supply of trade, industry and population.
Necessary legal basis is in place
The Swiss National Council has decided that the plans for the Cargo Sous Terrain (CST) project can be put into effect. The CST AG, with its more than 80 shareholders, is very pleased that the realization of the privately financed total logistics system is supported by a broad majority in parliament. The federal law on underground freight transport (UGüTG) that has just been passed provides the necessary legal basis to realize the project with safe conditions. There are still some details to be resolved, but CST expects that to be resolved soon. This means that CST can now start realizing this groundbreaking underground freight transport.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of CST, Peter Sutterlüti, commented on the decision of the National Council: “We are grateful for the decision of the National Council today. We have only been able to achieve this milestone for our shareholders and employees. thanks to the active support of the Bundesrat, the administration and now politics”.
Construction starts in 2026
If the law comes into effect soon, CST will be able to proceed with the final planning of the first trajectory. It runs from Härkingen-Niederbipp to Zurich, is approximately 70 kilometers long and has ten logistics hubs. The CST is already in close contact with the municipalities and cantons along the route to prepare the implementation together. The construction of the first part will start in 2026, it should be commissioned as early as 2031.
Cargo Sous Terrain is truly a mega project. By 2045, the aim is to have a network of a total of 500 kilometers in operation between Lake Constance and Lake Geneva with branches to Basel, Lucerne and Thun. The total cost of constructing the first section from Härkingen-Niederbipp to Zurich is estimated at three billion Swiss francs (about 2.8 billion euros). This includes the software, logistics hubs and underground and surface vehicles (for city logistics). The costs of the entire project must be enormous, given the size of the project. But if all goes well, the costs of the project will be borne by the 80 shareholders and there will be no costs for the public sector.
City logistics in Zurich and Basel
In the cities of Zurich and Basel, a new system of city logistics is already being built according to the principle of “collaborative innovation”. Digitization and sustainability are central to this.