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Landmark NEAT Project under pressure to cut costs

According to the Swiss Federal Office for Transport total costs of Switzerland's "New Alps Transversal Route" (NEAT) are likely to be CHF 302 m higher than calculated in the summer, due essentially to geological fault zones, uncertainties about the planned route and costly rail securing techniques.
While funds are still sufficient to finance the NEAT Project until 2008, Parliament already approved an additional loan of CHF 900 m in June. Final costs are now budgeted at around CHF 15.9 bn, although they may well rise by a further CHF 1.3 bn due to the hazard potential. Parliament is expected to decide on an additional loan in 2007.
Construction of the Brenner base tunnel between Austria and Italy is also proving to be more costly and is expected to take longer than originally anticipated. The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) announced that completion of the new railway line through the Lower Inn valley would be delayed by five years to 2013. An expertise had revealed that costs for this section of the line would rise from €1.3 bn to €1.8 bn.
Sources and information: www.tagesanzeiger.ch/dyn/news/schweiz/420991 (de) 29.09.2004, http://tirol.com/innsbruck/artikel_20041001_301693 (de), 01.10.2004, www.newsaktuell.ch/d/story.htx?nr=100480156 (de) 28.09.2004