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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another milestone in the building of a new Gotthard rail tunnel due to open in 2016 was reached when a 13.5 km tunnel section was completed earlier this week. You can read more here

David
 

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Just as a point of possible interest, my Company (Balfour Beatty), is part of the Transtec Gotthard Consortium building this new tunnel. I've been involved in several tunnel projects myself over the years though nothing on this scale. My largest was a 5.5 Km x 7 m dia. hydro-electric tunnel in Sri Lanka. It was a fascinating project though as it diverted one river through a mountain and into another river to provide the necessary head of water to drive the turbines.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 7 Sep 2006, 23:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I wish I had become an engineer.


Quite honestly I wish I'd become just about anything apart from what I am (?)

Seriously though - that's an amazing project.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another news item on the Gotthard tunnel project on the Swissinfo website - link.

Interesting snippet is that the boring is almost complete and then it's just 6 years of fitting out and testing......

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A slide show of images underground has appeared on the swiss info website - link

David
 

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Thanks David, it's nice to see further progress. Amazing to think that it will take six years to fit out the tunnel from 2010-2016. I like the pictures taken in the space between the cutting face and the rockface when the engineers have to repair the cutting blades, but not a good place to be when they switch it back on and it crawls forward millimetre by millimetre...


It's amusing that although the Swiss are proud of it and are keen to visit the construction site on open days they're not actually building it themselves!

Construction is soon to start on the main tunnels of the Italy/Austria Brenner Base Tunnel (55 km, a bit shorter than the Gotthard) so it looks like the tunnel industry will be busy for many years to come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another summer passes and it's time for Swissinfo to publish another article on the Gotthard Base tunnel - link

The "breakthrough" is planned for mid October - about the same time that a DB ICE is testing the channel tunnel.

Once in service, the journey time from Zurich to Milan will be cut to one and a half hours. Freight trains are expected to double from 2000 to 4000 tons.

David
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 6 Sep 2010, 19:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If regular services are held up will it be the wrong kind of ICE ?
Groan...........

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Possibly, but surely it's dwarves who dig tunnels.....

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QUOTE Possibly, but surely it's dwarves who dig tunnels.....
From memory of previous news items on Swissinfo, I think that most of the tunnellers are Polish or Italian, not Swiss at any rate.

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QUOTE (dwb @ 9 Sep 2010, 20:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>From memory of previous news items on Swissinfo, I think that most of the tunnellers are Polish or Italian, not Swiss at any rate.

David

AFAIK the only way the Swiss get their hands dirty is on some of the money the "look after" LOL !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Switzerland's transport minister is stepping down after 15 years in office. During this time he has been responsible for getting the Gotthard basis tunnel project off (? under) the ground through four referendums. During his time in office 115 road and rail tunnels have been built. He has given an interview to Swissinfo.ch which you can read here

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The final break through of the tunnel was made today and in cutting the final 170 cm, the Swiss have created the World's longest tunnel. There's a comprehensive report here on the Swiss info website. Fitting out and testing is due to take another 7 years with the tunnel opening to traffic in 2017.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
With a mere seven years to go before the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel, transport groups are starting to agitate for better infra structure to access the tunnel when it opens - link to article on Swiss Info website

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The official tunnel opening ceremony took place today. You can read more about it in these articles:

BBC website: article one

BBC website - article two

swissinfo.ch article

So that's one down, two to go. The other trans alpine base tunnels under construction are:

The Lyon-Turin base tunnel also known as the "BLT" - for more details see http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/lyon-turin/

The Brenner base tunnel or "BBT" - for more details see http://www.railway-technology.com/projects...nerbase-tunnel/

The Brenner base tunnel is scheduled to open in 2025 at which time the freight train I am currently assembling to represent Brenner Pass traffic will become historic. What I had not realised during our trip to Innsbruck last year was that a significant amount of new tunnel had been opened in the Inn valley between Kufstein and Baumkirchen which probably explains why we saw a smaller variety of trains on our cycle trip. More details can be found here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Lower_Inn_Valley_railway

So perhaps in just ten years time, even seeing freight trains in the Alps will be a thing of the past.

David
 
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