Gotthard Base Tunnel - Articles and news items
Issue 4 2016 / 25 July 2016 /
On 1 June 2016 an exciting new chapter was added to the Gotthard story. With the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland made railway history with a once-in-a-century construction project that embodies the innovation and competitiveness that makes the country the envy of Europe. For European Railway Review Head of SBB Infrastructure, Philippe Gauderon, reflects on this major project and highlights the benefits renewed passenger and freight operations will bring to the Gotthard region…
Issue 4 2016 / 25 July 2016 /
Following 17 years of construction, the new Gotthard Base Tunnel was ceremonially opened on 1 June 2016. Measuring 57km-long it is not only the world’s longest railway tunnel but also a unique masterpiece of engineering. Renzo Simoni, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd., the company tasked with construction, provides an insight on the colossal tunnel structure work and the different stages of the project…
Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel, will officially open on the 01 June 2016, 17 years after the start of construction.
In our latest free-to-view Track Systems & Infrastructure Supplement, Monika Heiming, Executive Director of EIM discusses how to encourage innovative infrastructure maintenance and Libor Lochman, Executive Director of CER shares a vision for the future of rail infrastructure..
Issue 4 2015 / 6 August 2015 /
In June 2016, the 57km-long Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Alps, which links northern and southern Switzerland, will be formally opened. The tunnel breaks a number of records. It is the longest rail tunnel in the world – 3km longer than the Japanese Seikan tunnel, the previous record holder. Peter Füglistaler – Director of the Federal Office of Transport in Switzerland – explains the importance of this route for commercial freight and passenger trains once scheduled operations through the tunnel begin in December 2016…
Rail industry news / 4 November 2014 /
On Wednesday 31 October 2014, the last rails were laid in the Gotthard Base Tunnel. At a distance of around 54m from the south portal, the contractor cast the “golden sleeper”; a big moment for everyone involved and an important milestone for the project…
Rail industry news / 5 August 2014 /
Michaela Stöckli, Director of the SWISSRAIL Industry Association, discusses Switzerland’s deep heritage in rail…
Issue 4 2013 / 1 August 2013 /
One of the principal aims of Swiss transport policy is to transfer transalpine freight traffic from road to rail. This is why Switzerland has built the new flat-bed rail tunnels through the Alps and introduced a road charge for heavy goods vehicles. In order to further support this development, the Swiss government plans to upgrade the main rail corridor for freight traffic running from Germany via the Gotthard to Italy by 2020, enabling semi-trailers with a corner height of up to four metres to be transported along the whole route.
With the adoption of the ‘Alpine Initiative’ in 1994, Swiss voters gave the government a mandate to transfer transalpine freight traffic from road to rail. Switzerland subsequently took a range of measures to achieve this goal. These included the construction of the new rail links through the Alps and the introduction of a road charge for heavy goods vehicles. This has resulted in a reduction of approximately 600,000 HGV journeys a year through the delicate Alpine landscape. Under current legislation, Switzerland should reduce HGV traffic through the Alps from around 1.2 million journeys a year today to 650,000 journeys a year by 2018.
Issue 4 2013 / 1 August 2013 /
Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels is on course. In the Gotthard Base Tunnel between Erstfeld and Sedrun, the ballastless railway track has been laid in both tubes. In total, 45% of the railway infrastructure systems have been installed. A pilot operation between Faido and the south portal at Bodio will start on schedule in December 2013 – a further important milestone on the way to the world’s longest railway tunnel becoming operational in 2016. Also, more than 60% of the Ceneri Base Tunnel has now been excavated. AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd is confident that the Ceneri Base Tunnel will be ready for operation with scheduled train services in 2019.
Gotthard Base Tunnel: status
Overground section Altdorf–Rynächt
The environment between Altdorf and Erstfeld has changed during the last year. Work on the built structures along the overground section is complete. In August 2012, the Riedstrasse underpass was completed, and in September 2012 the Wysshus underpass and both roundabouts were completed.
Issue 4 2012 / 1 August 2012 /
Since the second final breakthrough on 23 March 2011, fitting-out of the Gotthard Base Tunnel has made rapid progress, and since September 2011, installation of the railway systems has been taking place from the north. Elsewhere in the Ceneri Base Tunnel, work has begun on the main drives from the intermediate heading at Sigirino. The inward drives from both portals have already been completed.
Status of work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel: Installation of the railway infrastructure systems from the north is progressing rapidly and the ballastless track is currently being laid from Erstfeld.
Altdorf/Rynächt–Uri: Along the overground approach line to the Gotthard Base Tunnel, various constructions such as underpasses, bridges, passages and retaining walls are being built. This work is already at an advanced stage.
In the autumn of 2010, work began on the northern railway installations site at Erstfeld. The site occupies approximately 65,000m2 and large halls, workshops and offices have been erected as the logistical base for installation.
Issue 4 2011 / 4 August 2011 /
On 23 March 2011, between Faido and Sedrun in Switzerland, miners excavated the last metres of rock of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Both single-track tubes are therefore now continuously bored over their full length of 57 kilometres. In the Ceneri Base tunnel, the main drives from the Sigirino intermediate heading, as well as the inward drives from both portals, are in progress.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel
Since the second final breakthrough on 23 March 2011, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is completely cut. Lining work in the Erstfeld, Sedrun and Faido sections is progressing according to plan. At Bodio West, installation of the railway infrastructure for the test section is in progress.
Rail industry news / 15 October 2010 /
World record on the Gotthard: The longest railway tunnel in the world has become a reality…