AlpTransit Gotthard
New traffic route through the heart of Switzerland
The first flat route through the Swiss Alps is being built under the Gotthard. The new rail link
runs from Altdorf to Lugano. It offers goods traffic a real alternative to the road. Passenger traffic
benefits from improved connections and shorter journey times.
Swiss traffic policy
NRLA under the Gotthard
Flat rail link
Goods traffic
Passenger traffic
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Gotthard Base Tunnel
Ceneri Base Tunnel
Driving methods
Tunnel lining
Environmental protection
Spoil processing
12 / 13
14 / 15
16 / 17
18 / 19
Tunnel infrastructure systems
24 – 27
Railway infrastructure systems
Railway operations
Swiss traffic policy
Sustainable and forward-looking
With the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA), important goals of Swiss
transport policy can be implemented: transfer of goods traffic from road to
rail, and improvements in passenger traffic.
Switzerland is pursuing an environmentally compatible, efficient and financeable transport policy. It includes modernisation of the railway infrastructure
and integration into the European highspeed network. Wherever possible,
goods are to be transported by train.
Transferring goods traffic from road to
rail protects the sensitive Alpine region
from the environmental burden of
increasing traffic.
Frankfurt / Hamburg / Rotterdam
The new transalpine link
Switzerland is fulfilling the goals of its
transport policy through various projects:
Rail 2000, connection to the European
high-speed network, noise mitigation,
Rail 2030. At the centre, however, are
the major projects of the New Rail Link
through the Alps under the Lötschberg
and Gotthard. Trains have already been
travelling through the Lötschberg Base
Tunnel since 2007. The Gotthard Base
Tunnel is scheduled to become operational at the end of 2016, the Ceneri
Base Tunnel at the end of 2019.
Goods train traverses the Gotthard
Links to the European high-speed network
Transit axes through Switzerland
NRLA – New Rail Link through the Alps
The NRLA in the European railway network
NRLA under the Gotthard
New route through the Alps
Construction of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) is creating a fast
and efficient railway link through the Gotthard. At its heart are the two base
tunnels under the Gotthard and Ceneri.
The NRLA creates new perspectives for
rail traffic through the Alps. Goods can
be transported efficiently and environmentally compatibly by rail. Journey
times in
national andZürich
international pasBasel
senger traffic are massively shortened.
The Gotthard axis of the NRLA is
Switzerland’s largest-ever construction
project. It comprises the base tunnels
through the Gotthard and Ceneri as well
as their connections to existing railway
In brief
Gotthard Base Tunnel
length: 57 km – the world’s
longest railway tunnel
y Links the north portal at Erstfeld
with the south portal at Bodio
Maximum rock overburden: 2,300 m
in construction: 1,800 people
y Main tube drives: 75% tunnel boring
machine, 25% drilling and blasting
multifunction stations:
at Faido and Sedrun
y Max. speed:
goods trains: 160 km/h
passenger trains: 250 km/h
Gotthard Base Tunnel
total length: 57 km
Scheduled opening: 2016
Ceneri Base Tunnel
length: 15.4 km
y Links north portal at Vigana/
Camorino with south portal at
Maximum rock overburden: 800 m
Involved in construction: 400 people
Driving: 100% drilling and blasting
y Max. speed:
goods trains: 160 km/h
passenger trains: 250 km/h
AlpTransit route
Access adit
Existing railway line
Ceneri Base Tunnel
total length: 15.4 km
Route of the Gotthard axis
rock: 28 million tonnes
Excavated rock: 8 million tonnes
opening: 2019
Flat rail link
Innovation increases productivity
The first flat route through the Alps is being constructed under the Gotthard.
With minimum gradients and curves, it runs from Altdorf to Lugano. The
highest point is 550 metres above sea level – no higher than Switzerland’s
capital city of Berne.
The flat route shortens the distance from
Basel to Chiasso by 40 km with a maximum gradient of only 12 per thousand,
substantially less than the Gotthard
mountain route (26 per thousand).
Benefits for goods and
passenger traffic
The new routes shorten passenger journey times substantially. Passenger trains
travel at speeds of up to 250 km/h. In
total, around a quarter more passenger
trains will travel on the north-south axis
than today. The elimination of height
differences allows more goods trains to
pass. On the flat route they also require
less energy than on the mountain route
and, thanks to the shorter distance,
reach their destination sooner.
South portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Bodio
2,500 m
2,000 m
1,500 m
1,000 m
500 m
Biasca Bellinzona
Flat route through the Gotthard and Ceneri
Goods traffic
Transfer from road to rail
Transport of goods on the north-south axis is constantly increasing. Forecasts
indicate that this will continue in the future. To protect the sensitive Alpine
region, as many goods as possible must be transported by rail.
For the increased transfer of goods transport to the railways to be successful, rail
must be able to compete with road. The
flat route through the Gotthard will be a
real alternative.
More transport capacity
for goods traffic
220 to 260 trains per day can travel over
the new route. That is substantially more
than formerly on the mountain route
(140 to 180). Long and heavy goods
trains will also travel over the flat, almost
straight railway route. 2,000-tonne loads
can travel through Switzerland non-stop
without an additional pushing locomotive, thus eliminating time-intensive
shunting manoeuvres. This increases the
annual transport capacity from around
20 million tonnes today to around
50 million tonnes. This is sufficient to
master the forecast increase in goods
Goods trains on the north-south
Various goods trains will travel on
the Gotthard axis. They are normally
750 metres long. Around one third of
the goods trains will travel via Luino to
the loading terminals in northern Italy.
Slightly under two thirds of the goods
trains will enter Italy via Chiasso. Of the
goods trains travelling north-west,
around one third travel via Basel to
Antwerp. The other two thirds travel via
Basel to the major industrial centres of
Germany, the sea port of Rotterdam, or
Scandinavia. A small proportion serve
the Rhine port at Basel.
Southbound goods train in the Leventina Valley
Million tonnes
Development of transalpine goods traffic in Switzerland 1981–2010
Passenger traffic
Good connections, quicker travel
For travellers, the NRLA through the Gotthard is a quantum leap. Zurich and
Bellinzona come within commuting distance and the journey time to Milan is
cut to under three hours.
The newly constructed Gotthard route
will make rail travel competitive with
road and air. This will benefit more than
20 million people in the catchment
area between southern Germany and
northern Italy.
Better connections for commuters
and day tourists
Based on the railway hubs of Zurich and
Milan, the national and cross-border
timetables are coordinated. Passenger
trains will travel on the north-south axis
at hourly intervals, on weekends and
times of intense traffic even at half-
hourly intervals. With constantly higher
passenger numbers, a general intensification of the timetable to half-hourly intervals is possible without restricting the
capacity for goods traffic.
High speeds of up to 250 km/h
The new Gotthard route is a high-speed
rail link. Passenger trains can traverse
the almost 60 kilometres length of the
new route at maximum speeds of up to
250 km/h. This is made possible by the
straight route with no tight curves and
no level crossings on the overground
sections. The infrastructure will allow
future travel times to be achieved of
around one and a half hours from
Zurich to the Ticino, and less than three
hours from Zurich to Milan. However,
this also depends on adaptations to the
approach routes and expansions of the
network, as well as the rolling stock that
will then be used.
The New Rail Link through the Alps benefits travellers
From idea to implementation
The idea of a flat crossing of the Alps is not new. The first vision of a
Gotthard base tunnel was already conceived in 1947. In the 1990s, in various
referendums the Swiss people opened the way for the New Rail Link through
the Alps. The first preparatory work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel began
in 1993.
1940s and 1950s: first visions
In 1947, the engineer and traffic planner
Carl Eduard Gruner of Basel sketched a
two-level combined road and rail tunnel
between Amsteg and Bodio, which included an underground railway station
at Sedrun. The Swiss government’s Gotthard Tunnel Study Group investigated
various alternatives for a road tunnel.
Recommendations included construction
of a 45-kilometres-long twin-track railway tunnel from Amsteg to Giornico.
1960s and 1970s: political discussion
of the route
In 1963, the Swiss government set up
the Railway Tunnel Through the Alps
Committee to evaluate various alternatives for railway tunnels. In 1971, the
committee decided on a twin-track
tunnel through the Gotthard, part of it
divided into two single-track tunnels.
Swiss Federal Railways were tasked by
the government with elaborating the
construction project for the Gotthard
base line Erstfeld–Biasca. However, an
economic recession as well as political
disagreement between proponents of
the Gotthard, Simplon and Splügen
routes blocked the tunnel project.
1980s: decision on network variant
In the mid-1980s, new variants and
routes entered the political arena. In
1989, the Swiss government declared itself in favour of the “network variant”:
a composite of transalpine railway links
through the Gotthard and Lötschberg,
with a Hirzel Tunnel as link to eastern
1990s: groundbreaking referendums
In 1992, a 64% majority acceptance of
the proposals for the New Rail Link
through the Alps (NRLA) formed both
the planning basis and the political
justification for the projects under the
Gotthard and Lötschberg. In 1996, the
government redimensioned the NRLA:
the Lötschberg was implemented partly
single-track, the Hirzel Tunnel was
dropped. In 1998, the electorate voted
in favour of the phased NRLA. With their
acceptance of the heavy vehicle tax
(HVT), as well as the proposal for modernization of the railways (FinöV), the
Swiss people finally cleared the way for
Milestones from planning to entry to service
The first bores for
the Piora exploratory
system are made.
They continue until
1996. SBB establishes
the AlpTransit project
First preparatory and
exploratory work
begins at Sedrun.
Work begins on the
access adit.
AlpTransit Gotthard
Ltd. is established as a
subsidiary of SBB. Its
task: construction of
the base tunnels under
the Gotthard and
At Bodio, the bypass
tunnel is excavated.
This marks the start of
construction work for
the Gotthard Base
Tunnel also south of
the Alps.
Construction of the
multifunction station at
Faido begins. At Bodio,
the first tunnel boring
machine starts driving.
The present-day route
of the Gotthard Base
Tunnel is defined: the
Swiss Federal Council
approves the preliminary project.
At Sigirino, driving of
the exploratory bore for
the Ceneri Base Tunnel
At Sedrun, construction
of the main shaft
begins. With a first
blast at Amsteg, driving
the Gotthard through
the north side of the
Alps begins. With the
first blast at Faido,
driving also begins on
the south side.
Work begins on the
overground section
south (Bodio-Biasca).
Sketch of Carl Eduard Gruner’s vision (1947)
The first final breakthrough of the Gotthard Base Tunnel took place on October 15, 2010.
construction of the New Rail Link
through the Alps. 1996 saw the start of
preparatory work at Sedrun, followed in
1999 by Amsteg and Faido.
From 2000: the Ceneri Base Tunnel
takes shape
The first blast took place in July 2000 at
Bodio, and in 2004 work began on the
north portal at Erstfeld. In October 2010,
fourteen years after preparatory work
began, the Gotthard Base Tunnel was
completely broken through.
In 2006 at Camorino, work began on
the Ceneri Base Tunnel. The main drives
started in 2010.
Preparatory work for
driving also begins at
Erstfeld: work is now in
progress on all five
construction sites of
the Gotthard Base
At Sigirino, blasting for
the access adit to the
Ceneri Base Tunnel
begins. Initial driving
work begins by the
north portal of the
Gotthard Base Tunnel
at Erstfeld.
Preparatory work for
installation of the
railway systems in the
Gotthard Base Tunnel
begins at Biasca.
Excavation of the
Gotthard Base Tunnel is
complete. Installation
of railway systems in
the Gotthard Base
Tunnel begins also
north of the Alps.
opening of the
Ceneri Base
The first tunnel boring
machine for the
Gotthard Base Tunnel
North is completely
assembled and sets off
from Amsteg towards
The foundation
stone for the Ceneri
Base Tunnel is laid at
The once-feared Piora
Syncline is mastered.
The main drive of the
Ceneri Base Tunnel as
well as the two inward
drives from the portals
begin. In the Gotthard
Base Tunnel between
Sedrun and Faido, the
final breakthrough
takes place. Installation
of the railway systems
begins at Bodio.
Scheduled opening
of the Gotthard Base
Fund creates planning certainty
To extensively modernise and expand the railway infrastructure in Switzerland, the federal government created a special financing concept. It assures
the financing of a total of four major railway projects.
Financing through the FinöV fund
In 1998 the Swiss people voted in favour
of the “Proposal for the Construction
and Financing of the Public Transport Infrastructure (FinöV)”. The FinöV fund
that was approved is financed with revenues from the distance-related heavy
vehicle tax (64%), the tax on petroleum
products (13%), and value added tax
(23%). It assures the reliable financing of
four major railway projects: the NRLA
through the Gotthard and Lötschberg;
Rail 2000 and ZEB; connections from
east and west Switzerland to the European high-speed network HGV; and
noise-mitigation measures along existing
railway lines.
Sources of funds
Application of funds
Tax on petroleum products
approx. 13%
approx. 45%
Rail 2000
Phase 1
and ZEB
approx. 44%
Public transport
fund (FinöV)
Value added tax
approx. 23%
Noise mitigation
approx. 7%
Heavy vehicle tax
approx. 64%
Links to the European
high-speed network
approx. 4%
Financing the public transport infrastructure (FinöV)
Stable forecast of the final costs
In 2008 the Swiss parliament approved
a total credit of 19.1 billion Swiss francs
for implementation of the NRLA.
CHF 13.2 billion of this amount were
earmarked for construction of the
Gotthard axis. These figures are based
on 1998 prices excluding inflation, value
added tax and construction interest.
For the last few years, the forecast of the
final costs for construction of the NRLA
Gotthard route with the Gotthard and
Ceneri base tunnels has remained stable.
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. expects the
committed credit of 13.2 billion Swiss
francs to be sufficient.
The Swiss parliament approves a total credit of 19.1 billion Swiss francs for the NRLA
Strong partners for major project
A project like the NRLA Gotthard that costs billions and takes a generation
to complete is complex. Around 2,200 people are involved in implementing
the project. For successful control of the project, a well-functioning organisational structure is essential.
Specialists from highly diverse technical
fields are working on the new flat rail
link. In 1998, AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd.
(ATG) was established as a subsidiary of
SBB with responsibility for materialising
both tunnel structures.
Management by
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd.
ATG is tasked by the Swiss government
(which ordered the tunnel) and SBB (the
future operator) to construct the tunnel.
ATG is responsible for the project management and risk management and
ensuring that the built structures are
produced on time, at minimum cost, and
in the agreed quality. ATG is purely a
management company which employs
around 160 people at its headquarters
in Lucerne and its branches in Altdorf,
Sedrun, Faido and Bellinzona. It does not
build or plan anything itself, but delegates this work to project engineers,
construction companies and consortia.
Gotthard Ltd.
Affected parties
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. is central to the interests of different stakeholder groups
Networked with partners
ATG maintains close contact with various
partners and must reconcile numerous
The Swiss government
The Swiss government has not only
ordered the NRLA Gotthard but also approves, monitors, controls and finances
it. Specialists at the Federal Office of
Transport approve subprojects when
they have been elaborated. The Parliamentary Supervisory Committee for the
NRLA, a committee of the Swiss parliament, is responsible for the political
SBB as future operator of
the railway tunnel
When they are complete, the two base
tunnels under the Gotthard and Ceneri
will be operated by SBB. Already during
the construction phase, and especially
while commissioning, ATG and SBB work
closely together.
Private sector contractors
For planning and executing the construction work, planners, construction
companies and suppliers were contracted. They were selected in a public
tendering process.
Diverse public expectations
A major project affects many people.
The expectations placed upon ATG by
residents, representatives of the economy, environmental organisations and
politicians are correspondingly diverse.
Gotthard Base Tunnel
The world’s longest railway tunnel
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is composed of two 57-kilometres-long single-track
tubes. These are connected together every 325 metres by cross passages.
Including all cross passages, access tunnels and shafts, the total length of the
tunnel system is over 152 km.
The tunnel system
Two multifunction stations at Faido and
Sedrun divide the two tubes into three
approximately equally long sections. The
multifunction stations each contain
emergency-stop stations and two track
crossovers. These allow trains to cross
over from one single-track tube to the
other. The air extraction system and
numerous technical systems for railway
operations are also accommodated here.
Via the overground approach lines to
the north and south of the two portals
at Erstfeld and Bodio respectively, the
base tunnel is connected to the existing
SBB main line.
Subdivision into sections
For planning and construction purposes,
the Gotthard Base Tunnel was subdivided into various sections. Access adits
provided access to the underground
construction sites for workers, materials
and machines. To save time and costs,
construction work on the various sections was coordinated and sometimes
Gotthard North (4.4 km)
The overground section between
Altdorf/Rynächt and the north portal
connects the new Gotthard link to the
existing SBB main line. In addition to the
new railway track, numerous structures
such as underpasses and bridges were
also built.
branch-off structures around 3 km south
of the portal allow a possible future extension of the tunnel to the north.
Amsteg (11.3 km)
To allow construction of the two tunnel
tubes, a 1.8-kilometres-long access adit
was first excavated. For later installation
of the railway electric power supply, a
tunnel boring machine cut an underground cable duct to link with Amsteg
power station. From Amsteg, two tunnel
boring machines cut the drives in the
east and west tubes towards Sedrun.
Erstfeld (7.8 km)
In an open trench in the first 600 metres
of the most northerly section, a cut-andcover tunnel was constructed which was
covered over with soil. Two underground
South portal
Faido multifunction
station with
emergency-stop stations
Waste-air shaft
Faido access adit
access adit
Hoistway I and II
Sedrun multifunction station with
emergency-stop stations
Cross passage
Cross passage
Cable tunnel
Amsteg access adit
North portal
The tunnel system under the Gotthard
Approx. 40 m
Gotthard North
length 4.4 km
length 7.8 km
length 11.3 km
length 8.5 km
length 13.5 km
Sedrun (8.5 km)
For construction of the Sedrun section,
access from the surface was through a
1-kilometre-long access tunnel and two
800-metres-deep vertical shafts. The
location of the tunnel construction site
deep under the mountains was a great
logistical challenge. At the bottom of
the shaft, the caverns for the future multifunction station were excavated. From
there, the two tubes were blast-driven to
the north and south. Because the deep
rock overburden and high stresses
threatened to deform the tunnel, special
supporting means were necessary in
some places. The engineers developed a
novel, innovative concept with flexible
steel rings. These contracted under the
pressure of the rock and prevented
deformations in the finished structure.
Faido (13.5 km)
A 2.7-kilometres-long access adit with
a gradient of up to 13% provides access
to the underground construction sites.
The second multifunction station is
located here. Because of unexpected
geological difficulties with microearthquakes, the multifunction station had
to be replanned while construction was
in progress, and a track crossover was
relocated towards the south. For the
drive towards Sedrun, the same tunnel
boring machines were used that had
previously cut the Bodio section.
Bodio (15.9 km)
Also in the southernmost section, the
first few metres of tunnel were cut
and covered like at Erstfeld. These were
followed by a short section of loose
length 15.9 km
AlpTransit route
Access adit
Existing railway line
Gotthard South
length 7.8 km
Route of the Gotthard Base Tunnel
rock, before driving with tunnel boring
machines through solid rock could begin.
To allow earlier access to the underground assembly caverns for the machines, a bypass adit was constructed.
Since breakthrough to the Faido section,
and until 2013, the east tube serves as a
transport tunnel. The west tube is the
first section of the tunnel in which the
railway systems are being installed.
Gotthard South (7.8 km)
The overground line from the south portal at Bodio to the junction at Giustizia,
south of Biasca, links the Gotthard Base
Tunnel to the existing SBB main line.
The construction of various bridges and
underpasses permits an environmentally
protective route through natural landscapes as well as densely populated
Track crossover in the multifunction station at Sedrun
Ceneri Base Tunnel
Second heart of the flat route
Only with the 15.4-kilometres-long base tunnel under Monte Ceneri will
the continuous flat route from Altdorf to Lugano become reality. After the
Gotthard and Lötschberg base tunnels, the Ceneri Base Tunnel is Switzerland’s third-largest railway tunnel project.
The tunnel system
Like the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the
Ceneri Base Tunnel also consists of two
single-track tubes around 40 metres
apart which are joined together by cross
passages. Because of its length, no track
crossovers or multifunction stations are
needed. At the request of the canton of
Ticino, the Locarno–Lugano link is also
being implemented to serve regional
traffic in the Ticino. It will reduce the
time to travel between Locarno and
Lugano from today’s 55 minutes to
22 minutes.
Construction concept
The Ceneri Base Tunnel is being excavated entirely by drilling and blasting.
The maximum rock overburden is up to
900 metres, the least only a few metres.
The majority of the excavation is being
performed simultaneously in both directions from the intermediate heading at
Sigirino. From the portals at Vigana and
Vezia, inward drives were excavated to
minimise time and costs. Near the portals only protective construction methods could be used, since work in these
areas had to be performed in sensitive
To link the Ceneri Base Tunnel to the
existing railway line, various structures
are being built at the Camorino hub.
These include a new four-lane bridge
over the A2 motorway and two new
single-track railway viaducts over the
four-lane cantonal road.
South portal
Future extension
to the south
Installation cavern
Cross passages
Sigirino access adit (2.3 km)
Branch-off structure
Sigirino exploratory bore (3.1 km)
North portal Vigana/Camorino
The tunnel system under the Ceneri
Linienführung Ceneri-Basistunnel
Ceneri Base Tunnel north portal with links to Locarno (left) and Bellinzona
The area around Vigana is the site of the
north portal of the Ceneri Base Tunnel.
Here, in loose rock, the tunnel had to
pass at a depth of only nine metres under the A2 motorway. Shortly after the
portal in both tubes are underground
branch-off caverns which, in a later
extension phase, will allow crossing of
the Magadino plane.
Starting already in 1997, a 3.1-kilometres-long exploration tunnel was constructed from here which provided valuable geological information. In 2008, a
tunnel boring machine cut a 2.3-kilometres-long access adit. At the end of this
adit are two underground caverns which
since 2010 are the starting points for the
two drives each running both south and
north. The caverns also accommodate
construction site installations for the
main drives and the tunnel lining, including, for example, a concrete production
Vezia is the site of the south portal of
the Ceneri Base Tunnel. About 2.5 km
north of the portal, still inside the mountain, is the underground branch-off at
Sarè which will allow future extension of
the tunnel southwards to Chiasso and
Como. To protect nearby populated
areas and buildings – such as the heritage-protected Villa Negroni – driving in
solid rock was performed with only minimal amounts of explosive. Further on,
the railway tunnel passes only four metres above the new Vedeggio–Cassarate
road tunnel of the Lugano bypass, which
also called for protective construction
methods. From the south portal of the
Ceneri Base Tunnel a 200-metres-long
overground section connects it to the
existing railway line.
AlpTransit line
Access adit
Existing railway lines
South corridor
(future extension)
Bellinzona bypass
(future extension)
Route of the Ceneri Base Tunnel
Accurate to the millimetre
The new high-speed route through the Alps places high demands on the precision of the built structures. Reliable and highly accurate surveying methods
guarantee the required millimetre precision when the built structures are
marked out.
Surveying the tunnel
Using satellite measurement systems, a
network of fixed points was set up over
the entire area of the project. These
form a link between the plans and the
surface terrain, and serve as starting
points for marking out the tunnel below
ground. By means of the traverse principle, successive angles and distances are
measured into the tunnel.
blasted drives are also controlled with
surveying data. All data of the surveypoint network must be constantly updated. The surveying tasks also include
monitoring the built structure and
detecting deformations.
Controlling the driving direction
The surveying tasks inside the tunnel are
highly diverse. They relate in particular
to marking out built structures, railway
system installations, and installed equipment. The tunnel boring machines and
Compensating for distorting factors
The enormous dimensions in the long
underground tunnels make surveying
difficult. The numerous construction
sites, their complex interconnections,
and 24-hour construction activity make
its organisation particularly challenging.
Account must also be taken of influences
that distort the measurement results.
Temperature differences between the
tunnel wall, with its high rock temperatures, and the cooler centre of the tunnel
can deflect the laser beams used by the
surveyors (refraction). For this reason,
whenever possible the surveying tripods
are positioned in the centre of the tunnel. The effects of the geoid must also be
taken into account. The geoid is the true
shape of the earth which, because of the
varying density of the earth’s crust and
the mountain chains on its surface, is not
perfectly spherical. If these influences
were not taken into account by modelling, surveying errors amounting to metres would have to be expected.
Portal network
Gyroscopic measurement
steg d
Network of survey points between Amsteg and Sedrun
Tacheometer measurements at Faido–Sedrun final breakthrough
Surveying instruments
Tacheometer: Allows high-precision
measurement of direction, distance, and
vertical angle. Modern tacheometers are
motorised and computer-controlled.
They emit infrared light waves which are
aimed at reflectors.
Surveying gyroscope: Allows accurate
determination of direction inside the
tunnel. The pendular motion of a gyroscope is influenced by the rotation of the
earth and thereby indicates geographic
Laser scanner: Can register up to
500,000 points per second and allows
the measurement of photo-realistic
three-dimensional models. Because
laser scanners can detect even minute
cracks in concrete, they are used in
acceptance testing of the tunnel structure. They provide valuable information
for installation of the railway systems,
as well as their operation and maintenance.
Deviations at the breakthroughs of the Gotthard Base Tunnel
Month, year
September 2006
October 2007
June 2009
October 2010
Surface deformations under
A further surveying task is monitoring
the earth’s surface. For example, above
the Gotthard Base Tunnel the areas
around the Curnera, Nalps and Santa
Maria dams are monitored for movements caused by construction work. At
the north portal of the Ceneri, the
tunnel passes only a very short distance
under a motorway. To give warning of
unexpected subsidence of the road surface, a monitoring and alarm system
was installed.
Challenge of the Sedrun shafts
Surveying the two 800-metres-deep
shafts of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at
Sedrun called for innovative solutions.
The high accuracy that was required for
transmission of the position and direction data from the shaft-head cavern
down to the level of the tunnel presented a major challenge. The problem
was solved using mechanical and optical
plumbing systems and surveying gyroscopes.
Precise breakthroughs in
the Gotthard Base Tunnel
In the 57-kilometres-long Gotthard Base
Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel, the
surveyors attained maximum-precision
results at all breakthroughs.
Risk factor until breakthrough
Even with state-of-the-art technology, the geological conditions under
the mountains cannot be precisely forecast, but exploratory bores and the
predictions of experienced geologists reduced the risks.
Geology of the Gotthard Base
During construction of the Gotthard
Base Tunnel, highly diverse rock strata
had to be traversed. These ranged from
various gneisses and hard granites of the
Gotthard and Aare massifs to in some
cases greatly fragmented sediments between these massifs.
Difficult rock conditions
Already before construction started, the
Piora Syncline and the Tavetsch Intermediate Massif North were known to be
constructionally difficult zones.
y In the Piora Syncline the geologists expected “floating rock” conditions, i.e.
water-saturated sugary dolomite under
high pressure. Such conditions made
the feasibility of the base tunnel questionable. However, test bores indicated
that, at the level of the tunnel, dry
conditions could be expected and the
rock would be constructionally favourable dolomite. This turned out to be
the case: in autumn 2008 the miners
could traverse the Piora Syncline with
the tunnel boring machine without
problem in the east tube, and in February 2009 also in the west tube.
North portal
In addition to the Piora Syncline, the
engineers and geologists also expected
the northern section of the Tavetsch
Intermediate Massif to be constructionally highly critical. The section between the Aare Massif and the Gotthard Massif would present strongly
squeezing rock conditions for driving.
Correspondingly innovative supporting
means had to be developed. By means
of deformable steel rings and anchors,
steadily increasing forces to counteract
the deformations could be created.
This novel concept allowed the large
initial deformations that were necessary for a technically and economically
viable lining process.
In the Tavetsch Intermediate Massif, innovative supporting means were successfully deployed
Tavetsch Intermediate Massif
Longitudinal geological cross section of the Gotthard Base Tunnel
Piora Syncline Faido
South portal
Geology of the Ceneri Base Tunnel
Already between 1997 and 2000 at
Sigirino, a 3.1-kilometres-long exploration bore was cut to the future tunnel
axis. Solid orthogneisses and other
gneisses were encountered, which
would not present any particularly difficult conditions for construction of the
tunnel. Based on these findings, the
definitive horizontal route of the singletrack tubes was determined.
Driving by mechanical digger in the Linea Val Colla fault zone in the Ceneri Base Tunnel
Many factors determine the route
through the mountains
Although the shortest distance between
two points is a straight line, the routes
of the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels
are both curved. They were determined
not only by geological factors, but also
by geographical criteria such as the positions of dams, access routes to construction sites, the depth of overlying rock,
and the utilisation of the surface land.
The routes of the overground approach
lines also had to consider local regional
requirements. The aesthetic and environmentally compatible integration of the
railway lines and portals into the landscape and populated areas also played
an important role.
A core bore in summer 2008 in the Piora Syncline
North portal
exploratory bore
Access adit
installation cavern
Longitudinal geological cross section of the Ceneri Base Tunnel
South portal
Driving methods
Boring or blasting
Almost 75% of the Gotthard Base Tunnel was cut by four tunnel boring
machines, whereas the Ceneri Base Tunnel is being driven entirely by
conventional drilling and blasting.
with cutting-head diameters of up to
9.5 metres were used. The investment
costs for a tunnel boring machine are
around 30 million Swiss francs. Since the
acquisition and preparation of the installations takes longer than for conventional driving, tunnel boring machines
are generally only economical for longer
drive lengths.
The choice of driving method depends
not only on the rock conditions that are
expected but also on the access possibilities, the environmental situation and
economic considerations. The section
length and total construction time available also play a role.
A tunnel boring machine, including the
entire driving equipment (backup construction), is around 450 metres long.
Thanks to the standardised and mechanised procedures, under good rock
conditions high daily advance rates are
possible. In the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a
total of four tunnel boring machines
adapted to the conditions that are
encountered. The rock is loosened either
mechanically or by blasting. The work
steps involved in drill-and-blast driving
are standardised. First, holes are drilled
and filled with explosive. This is followed
by blasting, and then ventilation and
support of the blasted area. Finally, in
the “mucking” operation, the miners
clear the excavated rock and transport it
away. In the Gotthard Base Tunnel, particularly the Sedrun section, the access
adits and shafts as well as the cross
passages were conventionally excavated
by mechanical drilling and blasting.
Drilling and blasting is a highly adaptable construction method. The cross
section and length to be excavated, and
the supporting means used, such as
shotcrete, anchors, steel inserts or reinforcing mesh, can be continuously
Control cabin
Hoisting crane
Belt conveyor
Shotcreting system
Mesh installer
Cutting head
Tunnel boring machine (TBM) drive
Excavate bench
Support crown
Excavate crown
Rock anchor
Fresh air
Concrete truck
Dumper truck
Conventional drill-and-blast drive
Drilling jumbo
Drilling jumbo
Tunnel lining
Built to last for at least 100 years
The lining and support structures of the base tunnels must have a life span of
100 years without major maintenance. The construction materials for sealing
and lining the tunnel must therefore be of high quality and long durability.
The initial support prevents rock falling
from the roof, and protects the workers,
before the permanent supporting measures are installed. The initial support is in
direct contact with the rock, and therefore exposed to the effects of rock pressure and ground water.
Different strengths of supporting
Depending on the geology, different
strengths of supporting means are used:
anchors, shotcrete, and steel arches
can be modularly combined. They can
be deployed in various numbers and
strengths. If the rock conditions make
them necessary, additional measures to
improve the rock conditions or seal the
rock must be used. Such measures may
include diamond screens, pipe screens,
drainage bores and injections.
Lining with foil and concrete
After the initial supporting measures, a
specially developed sealing foil protects
the tunnel tubes from water ingress
along the entire length of the tunnel.
This foil must withstand high temperatures, ground water and rock pressure
throughout the 100-year service life
of the tunnel. Because commercially
available seals would not fulfil the special requirements, corresponding systems
appropriate for the Gotthard Base
Tunnel were developed. The concrete
aggregates for the inner lining are
composed almost entirely of excavated
rock. Because very little experience was
available, corresponding experiments
were made to obtain the necessary
Installing the sealing foils
Initial support with
Max. thickness = 20 cm
Deformation = 15 cm
In situ concrete lining
Min. = 30 cm
Sealing foil
Tunnel cross section TBM drive
evidence of quality. The inner lining has
a minimum thickness of 30 cm.
Environmental protection
In harmony with nature
With construction of the new Gotthard rail link, Switzerland is implementing
one of Europe’s largest environmental protection projects. The flat route
contributes to protecting the Alpine environment. Construction is also taking
place as environmentally compatibly as possible.
Already at the planning phase, as well
as during construction of the new
Gotthard link, comprehensive measures
reduce the impact on people, animals,
air and water. Dialog with environmental
authorities assists in finding workable
Environmentally compatible
transport ensures clean air
Air pollution must be kept as low as
possible. Most material is therefore
transported by belt conveyor, rail or
boat. To minimise the quantities of pollutants entering the air, construction
contractors must equip their vehicles
and machines with particle filters.
Strict rules for waste water
Construction site traffic and operations
pollute the ground water and tunnel
water. It is purified and cooled according
to legal regulations before being fed
back into the rivers.
Landfill irrigation reduces dust emissions
Dust and noise protection
Dust and noise from the construction
sites can be annoying for local residents.
To prevent noise, temporarily stored
humus and topsoil are piled up into
noise-mitigation embankments. Out of
consideration for residents, the operating times of the construction sites are restricted. At Sigirino, for noise protection
reasons the construction site is partly
located in a cavern inside the mountain.
To avoid dust, the construction sites and
temporary storage sites for excavated
rock are irrigated and vehicles are regularly cleaned.
Protection of flora and fauna
Construction of the new Gotthard link
also affects the habitats of animals and
plants. In some cases the impact is only
temporary and subsequently remediated.
If the change in use is permanent, compensation measures are implemented:
felled trees are suitably replaced, streams
are renatured or their banks naturalised.
Along the overground sections, noisemitigation walls are erected or noise and
vibration prevention measures implemented.
Revitalised Aue Insla, Sedrun
Spoil processing
Recycling of a special kind
Excavation of the tunnels creates gigantic quantities of spoil: 28 million tonnes
from the Gotthard and 8 million tonnes from the Ceneri Base Tunnel. These
mountains of excavated rock are valuable raw materials.
To conserve natural resources, a large
part of the spoil is used to make concrete for the inner lining of the tunnel.
The remaining material is used, for example, for landscaping or embankments.
Only a small proportion of the material
has to be deposited in landfills.
From spoil to concrete aggregate
In the past, the fine-grained chip-like
material cut by the tunnel boring machines was considered unsuitable for
concrete production. However, universities and industry developed innovative
techniques and novel systems to allow
the gigantic quantities of material to be
used as concrete aggregate nevertheless.
In laboratories and on construction sites,
research and tests were carried out until
proof of its suitability was established.
Conversion into concrete aggregate
takes place directly on the construction
sites’ own gravel and concrete production plants. A testing system ensures
that the required high quality of the concrete is constantly attained.
From spoil heap to island paradise: Lake Uri
Lakefill in the canton of Uri
Spoil that was unsuitable for recycling
was taken by train and boat to Lake Uri.
Here it was used for regeneration of the
shallow water zone. Three nature reserves and three bathing islands were
28.2 million tonnes ~
= 7,160 km
North Atlantic Ocean
The rock excavated from the Gotthard would fill a train from Zurich to Chicago
Tunnel infrastructure systems
State-of-the-art technology
Before the railway systems are installed, the base tunnels are equipped with
mechanical and electromechanical systems. Most of these installations are
accommodated in the cross passages and the two multifunction stations.
The tunnel infrastructure systems include
ventilation, water supply and drainage
systems, air-conditioning systems for
buildings, cranes, doors, technical floors
and metal structures, as well as electrical
and fire-protection installations. Most
of the systems are installed in the cross
passages and the two multifunction
stations of the Gotthard Base Tunnel,
some also in the tunnel tubes and
around the portals.
Equipping the cross passages
Through installation of the respective
tunnel infrastructure systems, the
176 cross passages of the Gotthard Base
Tunnel and the 46 cross passages of
the Ceneri Base Tunnel take on various
different functions:
y Cross passages form protected spaces
to accommodate cabinets with railway
infrastructure systems. So that the
temperature does not rise above 35°C
and thereby impair the high availability
and long life of the systems, the cross
passages are equipped with ventilation
systems. The installation of technical
floors simplifies the cabling of all systems.
In the event of an incident, the cross
passages serve as evacuation routes
into the opposite tube. For this reason,
they are closed off with evacuation
and fire-protection doors. These crosspassage doors must be capable of fast
and easy opening, as well as being
highly heat-resistant and having a long
service life. To fulfil these requirements,
they are extensively tested and customised.
Fresh-air fan
Waste-air fan
West door control cabinet
Cross-passage ventilation control cabinet
Single-track tube
Cross-passage door
Technical floor
Railway systems control cabinets
Fresh air supply
Diagram of cross-passage equipment
East door control cabinet
Equipping the multifunction
stations and auxiliary structures
y In the track crossovers of the two
multifunction stations, trains can cross
from one tube to the other. At these
points there are special doors which
during normal operation are closed
and thereby serve to aerodynamically
separate the tunnel tubes. In case of
need, for example for maintenance
work, they can be opened to allow
trains to pass.
y All technical rooms in the auxiliary
structures must be air conditioned and
are equipped with cooling and ventilation systems for this purpose.
y Shaft I at Sedrun serves not only as a
fresh-air duct to the Gotthard Base
Tunnel under operating conditions. It
also houses various cables for the railway systems and a water pipeline for
the multifunction station. To allow the
vault and the installed pipelines to be
inspected, maintained and repaired, a
work elevator with inspection platform
has been installed.
y In each of the multifunction stations of
the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Faido and
Sedrun there are two emergency-stop
stations for use in case of incidents.
The doors of these emergency-stop
stations can be opened and closed by
remote control and serve a dual purpose: as evacuation doors, and to
regulate the fresh air supply.
Work elevator with inspection platform, Shaft I, Sedrun
The cross-passage doors must function even under the most extreme conditions
Tunnel infrastructure systems
Fresh air for the base tunnels
In normal operation, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is not actively ventilated.
However, in the event of a fire in the tunnel, an operational ventilation
system sucks smoke out and blows fresh air in. The operational ventilation
also ensures an optimal working climate during maintenance work.
For normal traffic operations, no active
ventilation of the tunnel is necessary.
Through the “piston effect” of the
trains, sufficient air is pulled in as they
travel through. The air in both tubes of
the tunnel is thereby mixed with air from
Ventilation of the Gotthard Base
The operational ventilation of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is based on two ventilation centres. These are located in the
shaft head at Sedrun and in the portal
of the access adit at Faido, and are
equipped with air intake and extraction
fans. Six jet fans are mounted close to
the portal of each tube, making a total
of 24 fans overall. All of these components of the operational ventilation are
100 % redundant, so that in case of failure a backup is assured.
Ventilation in the Ceneri Base
In contrast to the Gotthard Base Tunnel,
in the Ceneri Base Tunnel no ventilation
centre is provided. More than 50 jet
fans, which are mounted near the portals and in the middle of the tunnel,
provide the necessary ventilation of the
Climate for maintenance work
If the temperature in the tunnel is too
high, the operational ventilation can
blow air in to cool it. During maintenance work it creates the required working climate for the personnel. In the
respective section where maintenance is
being performed, the temperatures, flow
velocity of the air, and pressure fluctuations must be correspondingly regulated.
Tunnel climate
An optimal operating climate in the tunnel is important for the high availability
and long life of the technical systems. In
summer, the temperature will be around
36 to 37°C, in winter around 35°C. The
tunnel temperature is determined, among
other things, by the rock temperature,
the temperature of the train when it
enters the tunnel, heat emitted by the
technical installations, and the ground
water temperature. In the tunnel entrance areas, the relative humidity of the
air can be over 70 %. With increasing air
temperature in the direction of travel,
the relative humidity decreases until at
the exit portal it is between 20 and 40 %.
Fresh air
3-D view of air intake and outlet ducts at the Faido ventilation centre
Sketch of ventilation building at portal of Faido access adit
Tunnel infrastructure systems
Responsible water management
Large volumes of water enter the tunnel tubes. In the Gotthard Base Tunnel,
the ground water and soiled water are drained out of the tunnel in separate
pipelines. By contrast, the Ceneri Base Tunnel has a mixed system.
Sealed against ground water
The tunnel vaults are constantly exposed
to ground water ingress. The water runs
along a special sealing foil to the vault
base and the vault drainage pipeline.
Every 100 metres, the vault drainage
pipeline runs into the main drainage
pipeline, which is located under the railway track.
Separate drain for tunnel water
If an incident in the Gotthard Base Tunnel results in soiled water in the area
of the railway track, it is collected every
100 meters in a shaft and fed into a separate pipeline; that is why it is called a
“separated system”. The soiled water
drains into a collection basin outside the
tunnel, where it is analysed. Depending
on its composition, the water is processed and then discharged into natural
Initial support
Sealing foil
Tunnel vault
(inner lining)
Drainage gravel
Vault drainage
Main drainage pipeline Ø 600 mm
In situ concrete invert
Soiled-water pipeline Ø 250 mm
Gotthard Base Tunnel drainage system
Ceneri: common pipeline for ground
and soiled water
In contrast to the Gotthard Base Tunnel,
in the Ceneri Base Tunnel the ground
water and soiled water are not drained
separately. Here, the much smaller volume of ground water allows a mixed
drainage system.
Water purification plant at Erstfeld
Railway infrastructure systems
Track, power, radio
Railway operations in the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels only become
possible with the railway infrastructure systems. They integrate the new
track systems into the existing railway network.
The railway systems include permanent
systems such as tracks, points, overhead
conductor, electric power supply, radio
and telephone links, as well as signalling
systems for trains that travel through
the base tunnels at speeds of up to
250 km/h.
Temporary buildings and
installations sites
In addition to the systems for operation,
extensive temporary buildings and temporary services are necessary for the in-
Amplification wire
Return wire
stallation. The railway systems installations sites near the portals form the
logistical basis for the installation process. But the concrete train for laying the
railway track, the construction site ventilation and cooling system, as well as the
construction site electric power supply,
also form part of it.
State-of-the-art systems
The railway systems installations are
planned and executed at the highest
technical level. The long planning and
execution time is a major challenge,
since all components must be state of
the art when the tunnel is opened.
Extensive tests
The railway systems form a complex
technical system. Despite this, already at
the planning stage attention was paid to
constructing the systems as simply as
possible and with as few interfaces as
possible. Already a long time before the
installation phase, extensive factory,
material, laboratory and prototype tests
Return wire
conductor support
Radio antenna cable
Overhead conductor
tensioning system
EBV 4 loading gauge
(incl. S3 pantograph)
Main signal,
warning sign
Emergency lighting in the tunnel
Data cable
Low-voltage cable
Tunnel cross section with railway equipment
High-voltage cable
Railway track
Tractive power
Radio antenna cable
were performed for the various parts of
the railway systems. These increased the
planning safety for commissioning. Close
and early coordination with authorities
and involved parties is necessary.
Railway track
Cross passage
Safety and
automation systems
Electrical and
telecommunication systems
Railway equipment in the Gotthard Base Tunnel
Coordinated installation
Already before installation, close coordination between the individual areas of
the railway systems, as well as between
the companies in the areas of the tunnel
structure and tunnel infrastructure systems, is important. In some cases, installation of the railway systems is proceeding in parallel with completion of the
tunnel structure and technical infrastructure. The requirements for space and
time, as well as the material logistics,
must be thoroughly coordinated down
to the last detail.
Visualisation of railway equipment and temporary installations
One general contractor
In the Gotthard Base Tunnel a single general contractor is tasked
with installing the railway systems. With a contract value of
around 1.7 billion Swiss francs, the work contract is the largest
contract awarded by AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. and also one of
the world’s largest contracts for railway infrastructure. During
the main installation phase, approximately 700 people, including
many specialists, will be occupied with the installation work.
Railway infrastructure systems
Phased installation
Installation of the railway systems is no easy task for the specialists.
Intensive preparations are necessary and highly complex requirements must
be fulfilled.
For installation as well as maintenance
of the railway installations, access is
limited. The portals are effectively the
only available access points. Very long
transport routes require sophisticated
y Inside the tunnel, space is very tight.
Tyred vehicles cannot turn around.
Installation of the railway systems is
therefore taking place largely by rail.
y The climatic conditions are extreme –
a challenge for people as well as the
technical systems. To prevent high
temperatures and high humidity, railway infrastructure systems are accommodated in special cabinets in the
cross passages. During the construction phase, ventilation and cooling are
y The high speeds of the trains, as well
as the requirements for work safety,
increase the level of difficulty for installation of the railway systems.
Laying the rails for the non-ballasted track
Installation work steps
In each section of the tunnel, installation
of the railway systems follows the same
sequence. First, temporary construction
facilities and cables are installed, then the
non-ballasted track. These provide the
rail-based transport logistics for the remaining activities. After this, the catenary
East and west tube
East and west tube
supports are installed and the cross
passages fitted out. In a further work
step, the tunnel tubes are fitted with
emergency lighting and handrails, and
the catenary is pulled in. This is followed
by connection of the data nodes and
technical systems and finally, by commissioning.
East tube
West tube
Railway equipment installation phases and directions
Installing the radio antenna cable in the Gotthard Base Tunnel
Installation in phases
In the Gotthard Base Tunnel, fitting out
with the railway system installations is
taking place from the south in the west
tube at Bodio. Installation will then
continue from the north. As work progresses, transport distances will increase
to as much as 40 km. Finally, the east
tube at Bodio will be equipped, also
from the south.
The pilot section
The west tube in the Bodio section of
the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be the first
to be completely equipped with all railway system components. On this approximately 15-kilometres-long section
in 2014, tests of all aspects of the railway systems will be performed under
conditions that are as realistic as possible. The pilot section can be travelled
over at speeds of up to 230 km/h. This
will allow potential optimisations for the
installation to be identified, and the risks
associated with commissioning to be
Challenging material logistics
So that the right railway system components are available at exactly the right
place in the tunnel at the planned time,
efficient material logistics are essential.
Many elements are specially made. They
must be ordered in good time, produced
in the desired quality, pretested, and
delivered. On the installation sites the
components are temporarily stored,
batched according to the daily requirements, and transported into the tunnel
for installation. Large quantities of material must be delivered for installation at
exactly the right time.
Gotthard Base Tunnel
y2,860 overhead conductor supports
y 250 transformer stations
y 6,000 km cable
y 930 balises
Ceneri Base Tunnel
y900 overhead conductor supports
y 85 transformer stations
y 2,055 km cable
y 200 balises
Railway infrastructure systems
Track for high speeds
In the base tunnels under the Gotthard and Ceneri, in contrast to the overground sections, a non-ballasted track is being laid. So that trains can travel
over it at speeds of up to 250 km/h, highest precision is called for.
By comparison with a ballasted track, a
non-ballasted track has two advantages:
it is less high and has greater positional
stability. Maintenance requirements are
thereby reduced and travel comfort is
Components of the non-ballasted
The track consists essentially of only a
few parts, but which have to be installed
in large numbers. The requirements for
the two base tunnels are approximately
y 400 km of rails,
y 480,000 concrete sleeper blocks
for the non-ballasted track,
y 90,000 concrete sleepers for
the ballasted track,
y 170,000 cubic metres of concrete.
Track-laying with concrete train
Once the sleepers have been concreted
into place, the track geometry of the
non-ballasted track can no longer be
corrected. High specifications must
(incl. rail fastener)
Concrete slab
Components of the non-ballasted track
therefore be fulfilled during installation.
Installation takes place in 2-kilometreslong sections. After all material such as
sleepers and rails has been delivered into
the tunnel, the track must be aligned
with extreme accuracy and surveyed
with a track-surveying car. Only then are
the sleepers permanently concreted into
place. For this purpose, for the Gotthard
Base Tunnel the contractor developed a
Installing the railway track
agen: 21 Wagen, Gewicht: ca.1000 t, Länge: ca. 500 m
The 120-metres-long rails are pulled off the train, laid on the tunnel
are delivered into the tunnel on special wagons “just in time” and
enenpaar der 120m
wird abgezogen,
Nach dem
über to
mehr als 2‘000
den Spezialwaggons
and connected
with distance
layingder Schienen
The blocks
are Auf
in such a way sind Schienen fes
den verlegt und mit Spurhaltern untereinander verbunden. Damit
werden die Schwellenblöcke angefahren. Die Schwellenblöcke kommen auf
Zuglänge längs bewegen kann. Der Portalk
the rails over a length of more than 2,000 m, the
sleeper blocks
that they do not have to be repacked for laying,
and can be laid as
isorische Rampe als Übergang zwischen dem bereits fertig gestell- Spezialwagen «just in time» in den Tunnel direkt zur Einbaustelle. Die Blöcke
transportiert diese bis zum 1. Wagen. Die
ten Fahrbahn und dem nächsten Einbauabschnitt geschaffen.
sind so gepackt, dass diese zur Verlegung nicht umgepackt werden müssen
im Boden, durch welche die Schwellenblöc
ampe besteht nun im Weiteren die Möglichkeit die folgenden
und nach Entfernen der Transportverpackung abgelegt werden können.
legt werden können..
paare abzuziehen, auszulegen und miteinander zu verschweissen.
Concrete and installation train for concreting the tracks
train-borne concrete production plant.
Concrete is produced on site in the
tunnel, which results in a higher quality
of concrete since the transport distance
between the production and laying sites
is eliminated. The finished track forms
the basis for the track-based installation
of the remaining railway system installations.
Innovative points actuator
Because of the shortage of space in the
single-track tubes, the points are
equipped with an actuator system that
is new in Switzerland. Instead of mechanical forces being transmitted by levers,
a hydraulic actuator is employed.
Overground sections
In the overground sections to the north
and south of the two base tunnels, a
conventional ballasted track with concrete sleepers is being laid. To increase
their life span, the concrete sleepers are
fitted with an elastic sole.
Workshop at Biasca with laid-out test track
Ballasted track on the Biasca overground section
soon as the transport packaging has been removed. With the aid
sleepers have been laid, they are aligned for installation.
st montiert überof
ein Portalkran
alle Schwellen
sind erfolgtsystem
das Ausrichten
The supporting
is then der
a gantry
a length
of die
sleepers is raised
in a single
hoist, ausgelegt
kran nimmt eine Schwellenreihe (60Stk) mit einem Hub auf und
Die Block an Block liegenden Schwellenblöcke werden auseinander gezogen, ausgerichtet, um 90°
transported, and laid on the floor between the rails.
After the
eser Wagen ist ein Flachwagen mit spezieller Durchführöffnung
gedreht und auf der Horizontalschubplatte abgelegt. Daran anschliessend erfolgt die Montage des
cke auf dem Boden zwischen den Schienen Block an Block abgeStützsystems und das Einrichten des Gleisrostes.
Railway infrastructure systems
Energy for the technical systems
All of the technical equipment in the base tunnels and along the overground
sections requires electrical energy. The necessary 50 Hz power supply must be
extremely reliable and constantly available.
Equipment such as control, safety, communication, and monitoring systems, as
well as systems for lighting, ventilation,
building control, and drainage place
heavy demands on the power supply.
These must function even under exceptional conditions such as high temperatures and dusty air.
Power from public networks
The 50 Hz power supply is obtained as a
so-called normal network from the public supply networks. For the Gotthard
Base Tunnel there are five feed-in points:
at Erstfeld, Amsteg, Sedrun, Faido and
Bodio. For the Ceneri Base Tunnel there
is one each at Vigana and Vezia. In addition, at each of these points two diesel
generators are installed which supply a
backup network in an emergency. In the
event of failure of the normal network,
this backup network automatically takes
over the power supply.
Safety and control systems
All systems are visualised, monitored and
controlled via the control system. If
faults occur in the electric power supply,
they are detected by appropriate protection devices and the affected parts of
the system are switched off. For the
electric power supply in the Gotthard
Base Tunnel, 3,200 km of cable are
required, and for data communication
Existing substation at Faido
15 kV distribution network
North portal Amsteg
access adit
16 kV distribution network
multifunction station
Main feed-in point from the public power supply networks
16 kV distribution network
multifunction station
South portal
Low voltage: 400 V 50 Hz
Medium voltage: 16 kV 50 Hz
and 6 kV 50 Hz
Cables in tube blocks in the tunnel side benches
2,600 km. The reliability of the cable is
essential for the availability of the 50 Hz
power supply. To p

AlpTransit Gotthard: New Traffic Route through the heart of