Transitgas AG located in Zurich, was founded on June 25, 1971. The present-day Transitgas transport system was created in three phases: the start of construction at the beginning of the 1970s, the expansion in the mid-1990s and the major expansion completed in 2003.

CONSTRUCTION 1971 - 1974

Following a planning and construction phase of around three years, the 164 km Transitgas pipeline was officially inaugurated on April 8, 1974. From Germany, the pipeline crosses the Rhine and reaches the metering station in Wallbach. It runs on through the central region towards the south, navigates the Alps through various tunnels and reaches Italy at the Gries Pass.

The compressor station was built at Ruswil, approximately halfway between Germany and Italy. The diameter of the pipeline from the Rhine to the compressor station was 36"* and to the south as far as the Gries Pass 34". The quantities transported via Wallbach during the first 20 years of operation averaged between 5 and 7 billion Nm3**/J.

* 1 inch = 2.54 cm
** Nm3 (normal cubic meter) = volume at 0°C and 1013.25 mbar

EXPANSION 1993-1994

To provide for the growing demand for natural gas in Switzerland, the transport system between Wallbach and Däniken was expanded in 1994 by a 33 km long 36”* parallel pipeline (loop). Commissioning of this new section was made in the autumn of the same year.


In order to cater for increasing demand for natural gas in Italy the Board of Directors of Transitgas AG decided on March 17, 1997 to expand the complete transport system. Basically this expansion included the following work:

  • Replacement of the existing 34”* pipeline between the Ruswil compressor station and the Gries Pass with a new 48” pipeline

  • Connection to France by laying a new 36” pipeline from Rodersdorf to Lostorf
  • Construction of a new 48” pipeline parallel to the existing 36” pipeline between Däniken and the compressor station in Ruswil
  • Construction of a new 36” pipeline parallel to the 36” pipeline between the Rhine and the Wallbach metering station
  • Increase of the installed performance of the Ruswil compressor station
  • Adaptation of the metering equipment of the Wallbach station to cope with the increased flow

Pursuant to statutory requirements in the canton of Lucerne, two waste heat recovery plants were installed in the Ruswil compressor station with which the waste heat from the gas turbines could be used to generate power or produce hot water.

Thanks to an investment of 1.1 billion Swiss francs, the existing transport capacity was able be almost tripled. In 2003 the total transported volume of natural gas from Wallbach and Rodersdorf amounted to 15.7 billion Nm3**. Thanks to the inclusion of the new connecting pipeline from France into the north-south transport pipeline from northern Europe, diversification of the Transitgas transport system sources of supply was increased.

* 1 inch = 2.54 cm
** Nm3 (normal cubic meter) = volume at 0°C and 1013.25 mbar


The current route of the Transitgas transport system is marked in red in the adjacent illustration.