Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alfred Haack - Articles and news items
Issue 5 2010 / 17 September 2010 /
The remarkable volume of tunnelling on a worldwide basis during the last two or three decades (see Figure 1) is not defined by the demands to improve the railway networks in many countries. Stimulation in this direction is especially given by the generally highly ranked socio-political requirement of improved mobility – both for persons and goods – achieving at the same time a better environmental balance.
COSUF – the ITA-Committee on Operational Safety of Underground Facilities, was set-up in May 2005 at the ITA World Tunnel Congress in Istanbul, Turkey. This important step followed a joint initiative of eight European research projects which all aimed at improved tunnel safety after the disastrous fire accidents in various road tunnels in 1999 and the following years.
Since the 1980s railway traffic for passengers has experienced a renaissance. Especially France and some time later Germany started to construct and operate their first high-speed lines with speeds between 300 and 350km per hour. Later, other European countries followed; such as Italy, Spain and the UK, and even the Alpine countries with an extremely difficult topography.