Gotthard Tunnel:World’s longest railway tunnel opens in Switzerland

Gotthard Tunnel

After nearly 2 decades of construction, the Gotthard Base Tunnel was officially opened on June 1, 2016 and exceeded all previous dimensions in terms of tunnel length, engineering and logistics. At 57 kilometres (35-mile) in length, the tunnel is currently the longest and the deepest (railway) one in the world which runs from Erstfeld in Canton Uri to Bodio in Canton Ticino. The tunnel forms part of the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA), which is at present the largest construction project in Switzerland.

Gotthard Base Tunnel

With the construction of this "project of the century", north/south railway transit traffic will be further improved, meaning that transit traffic can be moved off the roads and onto the railways. Moreover, travel time for public transport services will be significantly reduced – in conjunction with the Ceneri Base Tunnel which is currently being constructed – (the travel time from Zurich to Milan will be cut by one hour), thereby considerably increasing the attractiveness of railway travel compared with taking the car or plane. About 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will pass through the tunnel @ up to 250 km/h.

Switzerland Train Tunnel

Costing over 11 billion Euros, the tunnel is being financed by value-added and fuel taxes, road charges on heavy vehicles and state loans that are due to be repaid within a decade. About 2,600 workers have been involved in the construction of the tunnel.

Background

In a popular vote on 27 September 1992, the Swiss electorate approved the Federal Decree on the Construction of the NRLA. This would pave the way for an Alpine transport policy favoring rail over road traffic. This not only significantly reduces the danger of fatal road crashes involving trucks, but also reduces the environmental damage caused by the ever-increasing amount of freight hauled by heavy trucks. The tunnel will provide a faster connection between the canton of Ticino and the rest of Switzerland, as well as between northern and southern Europe, cutting the Zürich–Lugano–Milan journey time for passenger trains by one hour.

Gotthard Tunnel witzerland
Caption: In October 2015, teams of tunnel-boring crews that had separately started at the northern and southern ends of the planned GBT tunnels met in the middle. The cutting-face of the huge Herrenknecht AG tunnel-boring machine can be seen in the background.

The NRLA, involving the construction of three tunnels through the Alps, is well under way; the Lötschberg tunnel (34.6 km) was opened in 2007 whereas the Gotthard tunnel (57 km) was recently opened. The final tunnel in the trio is the Ceneri base tunnel (15.4 km), due to be opened in 2020.

NBM&CW August 2016

GHH adds Shotcreting Machine to its - Tunneling Equipment Solutions

GHH is offering state-of-the-art and proven IS26 Concrete Spraying (Shotcrete) machine in India. The machine is suitable for shotcreting application in medium and large sized tunnels with cross sections ranging Read More ...

Kishanganga Hydro Power project – A New Power House

Inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, the Kishanganga Hydro Electric Power project is the first mega hydro power plant to be awarded as EPC to HCC by NHPC. Located at Bandipore in north Kashmir, the Read More ...

Tunneling to Prosperity: Solutions, Equipment and Technologies

India is one of the fastest growing markets for tunnel construction due to various infrastructure development projects underway across the country. Tunnels are required for hydroelectric power projects, for improving road Read More ...

CREG: Tunneling Specialist

China-based China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co., Ltd (CREG) is a subsidiary of the public- listed China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), a Fortune 500 company and a key state-owned company under Read More ...

Intermodality & Last Mile Connectivity - Creating Smart Walkable Spaces

Urban congestion needs to be addressed by encouraging high quality and innovative energy-efficient public transport integrating it with other forms of paratransit, ensuring last mile connectivity; working on Read More ...

Ashram Metro Station - An Engineering Masterpiece

One of the main challenges of constructing a station in the Delhi Metro Network, especially in a busy and densely populated area, is designing it according to the ambience and the limited space allocated. Constructing Read More ...

Transit Oriented Development - Challenges and Proposed Regulatory Framework

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) complements the concept of new urbanism. Compact, mixed-use communities are the answer to suburban problems. Due to the dynamic nature and multiplicity of underlying Read More ...

Simulating oversize and heavy vehicle manoeuvres using AutoTURN® from Transoft Solutions.

Use AutoTURN® to design infrastructure adjustments to safely operate trucks transporting wind turbine components. By Er. Alessio Gori - collaborator at POLITECNICA INGEGNERIA ED ARCHITETTURA SOC. COOP. Read More ...

Urgent Course Correction Imperative for Indian Railways

Railways’ freight and passenger businesses over the 5-year period, i.e., 2014-15 to 2018-19 (budgeted) indicate a flat growth. The number of total passenger journeys would record a CAGR of 0.22%, passenger kilometres Read More ...

Meeting Emerging Urban Transport Challenges

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has envisaged growth of urban transport along with a low carbon footprint through seamless implementation of a New Metro Rail Policy, announced last year Read More ...

Tunnelling Through the Ages

History has seen the evolution of tunnelling starting with cave formation, for water management, underground transportation, mineral extraction and for warfare purposes. The oldest reference of a tunnel was Read More ...

Afcons uses Robbins EPB TBM to Complete Third Bore for Chennai Metro Project

Contractor Afcons Infrastructure Ltd used a 6.65 m (21.8 ft) diameter Robbins EPB TBM to bore through in Chennai Metro, making it the contractor's third tunnel to be bored by the machine for the project. The three Read More ...

Robbins Slurry TBM ramps up for Mumbai Metro Line 3

The first of two Slurry TBMs, a rebuilt 6.65 m (21.8 ft) diameter machine, passed its factory acceptance on September 4, 2017 in Singapore. The machine, fitted with a Robbins cutterhead and outer Read More ...

Tunnelling Technologies & product support keep pace with construction complexities

Advanced technologies, mechani- sation of equipment with heightened safety features, and timely service and technical support to end-users can help the construction industry deal with construction complexities Read More ...

Delhi Metro’s Underground Revolution

The Delhi Metro’s underground construction in its third phase of expansion cannot be considered anything short of a revolution. Close to 80 kilometres of underground tunnels have been laid beneath Read More ...

Chenani-Nashri Tunnel — An Engineering Marvel

The Chenani-Nashri tunnel is a single-tube bi-directional tunnel, with a 9.35-metre carriageway, vertical clearance of 5 metres, and a parallel escape tunnel with cross passages connecting to the main Read More ...
NBM&CW

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture
L&ST

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport
II&TW

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week