Swissmetro was invented in 1974 by EPFL engineer Rodolphe Nieth. It is a Maglev in an underground vacuum tunnel. Rolling friction is eliminated with magnetic levitation and air resistance is lowered by means of a reduced pressure. The aim was to connect Switzerland's urban centres with a modern, sustainable, ultra-fast transport system . This without harming our historic cities, picturesque landscapes and alpine ecosystems. The system was developed from 1980 onwards by EPFL, ETHZ, Swiss engineering firms and industrial companies until it was ready for construction. At the end of the 1990s, towards the end of the SwissMetro main study, a concession application was submitted for a pilot line between Geneva and Lausanne. However, the federal government was already busy with other national infrastructure projects (Bahn 2000, Gotthard AlpTransit, etc.). Furthermore, the FOT-EVED had some reservations (switch and capacity, safety, choice of pilot line, financing concepts, etc.).
SwissMetro-NG (new generation): Presentation (PDF-Download)
SwissMetro-NG is the modern version of the original project. It is, so to speak, version 2.0. Air resistance was eliminated completely. The tunnel diameter and consequently the overall costs were significanly reduced. A new switch allows driving through without stopping and long vehicle compositions with incresed capacities (over 1200 seats). The reservations of the BAV-EVED have been resolved and the conditions are now very favourable (completion of Bahn 2000, Gotthard Alptransit, interest rate developments, new technical advances, etc.). SwissMetro-NG meets Switzerland's strict requirements regarding CO2 emissions, landscape protection, speed, sustainability, tourism, capacity, safety, cost, network capability, economic efficiency, etc. and has supporters from all political directions (left, right, center, green etc.). ETHZ, EPFL, EMPA, universities of applied sciences and Swiss engineering and industrial companies are invited to participate in the reactivation. The time for SwissMetro-NG is now.
Swissmetro Reports 1970-2000
Swissmetro Video (1999):