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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:22 PM   #481
earthJoker
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Gotthard Base Tunnel could be opened one year earlier:
A new report has stated that it would be possible to open the new tunnel a year earlier. The SBB and the building consortium Transtec have been informed. The decision is not yet made.

http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/schwei...1.7788259.html
(Sorry only in German)
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Old October 5th, 2010, 04:36 AM   #482
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Are there any crossings, in USA, of Cascades, Sierra Nevada or Rockies, where a base tunnel of feasible length would result in significant improvement of ruling grade for freight?
This probably sounds rather nerdish, but I have used Google Earth to scout potential tunnel routes. In the Blue Mountains of Oregon a ten mile tunnel would eliminate 26 miles of twisting and climbing over the grade, and at Stampede Pass in the Cascades a 4.5 mile tunnel would connect the BNSF line with the abandoned Milwaukee line (presently a trail).
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Old October 5th, 2010, 05:17 AM   #483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank J. Sprague View Post
This probably sounds rather nerdish, but I have used Google Earth to scout potential tunnel routes. In the Blue Mountains of Oregon a ten mile tunnel would eliminate 26 miles of twisting and climbing over the grade, and at Stampede Pass in the Cascades a 4.5 mile tunnel would connect the BNSF line with the abandoned Milwaukee line (presently a trail).
In the rawest sense, the current BNSF Cascade Tunnel can be thought of as a 'base' tunnel that replaced a truly torturous line to an older, higher altitude tunnel - the line to that prior tunnel included MASSIVE lengths of showsheds, the maintenance of which were fast draining BNSF predecessor Great Northern's treasury.

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Old October 5th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #484
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There are many long low-grade tunnels planned in Europe. Five are planned, two under construction and one (well, not really) in operation, plus a pure high-speed tunnel in Spain, the Channel tunnel and a road tunnel, each at least 25 km long.

All of them but the last three are planned, or have been built, to reduce grades and shorten travel times for passengers.

Quote:
Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri

01.10.2010

As of October 1, 2010, of the total of 151.84 km of tunnels, galleries and passages of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, 149.1 km, or 98.2%, had been excavated. The total amount driven in September 2010 was 1118 m.

Of the total of 39.78 km of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, at the end of September 2010, 9466m, or 23.8%, had been excavated.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
There are many long low-grade tunnels planned in Europe. Five are planned, two under construction and one (well, not really) in operation, plus a pure high-speed tunnel in Spain, the Channel tunnel and a road tunnel, each at least 25 km long.

All of them but the last three are planned, or have been built, to reduce grades and shorten travel times for passengers.
Could you list the other tunnel under construction (Gotthard is one) and the road tunnel?

Rockies are high and wide, but that is precisely why long tunnels are less necessarily. Climbing the flat Great Plains reaches high altitude without steep gradients - in Wyoming, Sherman Hill is avoided and water divide crossed at maximum grade as low as 0,84 %. But steeper, 2,2 % slopes (as well as nasty climate and snowfall) are encountered crossing Sierra Nevada via Donner Pass.

Would a Donner Pass base tunnel be useful?
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Old October 5th, 2010, 03:21 PM   #486
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Opened:
- Lötschberg Base, 35 km, Alps, Switzerland (but quite useless regarding gradients as there is still the Simplon ramp)
- Guadarrama, 28 km, Sierra de Guadarrama, pure HSL
- Eurotunnel/Channel Tunnel, 50 km, undersea, United Kingdom-France
- Laerdal, 24.5 km, Scandinavian mountains, Norway, road

Under construction:
- Gotthard Base, 57 km, Alps, Switzerland
- Pajares, 25 km, Cordillera Cantabrica, Spain (+ 20 km of others tunnels, that is 45 km underground out of 50 km of new line)

Advanced planning stage (exploratory tunnels and acces shafts), but construction still uncertain
- Brenner Base, 55 km, Alps, Austria-Italy
- Fréjus Base, 57 km, Alps, France-Italy (also known as Mont Cenis Base, Mont d'Ambin Base, or Lyon-Turin)

Planned
- Semmering Base, 27 km, Alps, Austria
- Koralm, 27 km, Alps, Austria
- Traversée Centrale, around 40 km, Pyrenees, Spain-France (the less likely to be built in the near future)
- Gibraltar tunnel, 40 km, undersea, Spain-Morocco (even less likely but an exploratory tunnel has already been done)

(the adjective "base" is used where there is already a "summit" tunnel, even if on the Brenner there is no summit tunnel, but the new is called "base", and even if there is already a short 3 km tunnel on the Pajares line - but I don't know if this tunnel (called Perruca) is exactly on the summit or if the summit is elsewhere)
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Old October 6th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Planned
- Semmering Base, 27 km, Alps, Austria
- Koralm, 27 km, Alps, Austria
- Traversée Centrale, around 40 km, Pyrenees, Spain-France (the less likely to be built in the near future)
- Gibraltar tunnel, 40 km, undersea, Spain-Morocco (even less likely but an exploratory tunnel has already been done)
Very nice summary, Coccodrillo! I would disagree only on one point. I think you're being unfair to the Austrians: as far as I know the Koralm tunnel has actually been under construction since 2008.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:01 PM   #488
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I know that at least two access and exploratory tunnels for the Koralm have been built. Also some open-air parts of the new Koralm line are already opened but as a non-electrified single track.

But beside that I haven't really understood if the work is really ongoing or not (I think they are boring the main tunnels from one side...or maybe they are going to start in the enxt future). There is no english website, I don't speak German and even Google Translate is not of a big help as ÖBB's webiste is quite confusing.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 12:12 AM   #489
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http://www.videoportal.sf.tv/video?i...gang=front_pb1

Schweizer Fernsehen (Swiss Television): Horizonte

Only until 16.10.2010

Very interesting!
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Old October 13th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #490
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Let´s use the upcoming breakthrough as an opportunity to pay tribute to the current world record holder.




Seikan Tunnel (青函トンネル)- World´s longest tunnel

13.03.1988 --- 15.10.2010




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Old October 14th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #491
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Nice article about this tunnel..

World's longest tunnel gets ready for rapid rail
Brisbane Times, AFP, October 14, 2010 - 4:57PM
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/trav...014-16lhc.html


World's longest tunnel, A giant drilling machine will complete the world's longest tunnel beneath the Swiss Alps today, paving the way for continuous high-speed rail travel between northern and southeastern Europe. Photo: Reuters

A giant drilling machine will complete the world's longest tunnel beneath the Swiss Alps on Friday, paving the way for continuous high-speed rail travel between northern and southeastern Europe.

The ceremonial breakthrough in the 57-kilometre long Gotthard base tunnel through the foot of the Alps is due to take place 30 kilometres from one end and 2000 metres below a mountain.

Eight of some 2500 tunnel workers have died since construction of the new railway link began in central Switzerland 15 years ago, blasting and boring through 13 million cubic metres of rock in hot and humid conditions.

By the time it opens for service in 2017, it will exceed the 53.8-kilometre Seikan rail tunnel linking the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido and the world's longest road tunnel, the 24.5-kilometre Laerdal in Norway.

Although the near 10 billion Swiss franc ($A10.53 billion) project is Swiss, it has fast taken on a continental dimension with the aim of unclogging one of the main north-south commercial routes between Germany and Italy.

European Union Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas on Tuesday called the new Gotthard tunnel "a remarkable project".

Transport ministers from the 27-nation bloc are due to watch the breakthrough ceremony live on television during a regular meeting in Luxembourg, officials said. Switzerland is a not a member of the EU.

The tunnel would cut one hour from the transalpine rail journey, and drive booming road freight off congested Swiss mountain roads onto more environmentally sound rail.

"The Gotthard base tunnel is a milestone on the way to taking freight traffic off the road and onto rail," said Peter Fueglistaler, director of the Federal Transport Office.

Switzerland nonethless struggled to convince sceptical European neighbours after Swiss voters supported an ecologist motion to ban heavy trucks from the Alps -- including the expanding flow of transiting EU goods traffic -- in a shock referendum result in 1994.

In recent years, Austria, France and Italy have set in motion two similar rail tunnel projects through the eastern and western Alps.

"The European Union has made great strides in our direction," said Swiss Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger.

Last month, Leuenberger handed over a ticket for a post-2017 Gotthard crossing to each of his EU colleagues.

Around 300 trains should be able to speed through the twin tubes every day, at up to 250 kilometres per hour for passenger trains, according to planners.

The current ageing and narrow 15-kilometre tunnel higher up the flanks of the St. Gotthard can cope with just a fraction of that capacity at less than half the speed.

It was nonetheless a global engineering feat when it was completed 128 years ago, having claimed the lives of some 200 tunnel workers.

By the time the 9.5-metre wide tunnel drilling machine breaks through the remaining metre of rock on Friday, the overall cost of the new base tunnel and other revamped rail lines through the Swiss Alps will reach nearly 19 billion francs.

For locals in the mountains, meanwhile, it almost brings the 63 year-old dream of a Swiss engineer to life.

In 1947 Carl Eduard Gruner envisaged not only a tunnel through the foot of the mountains at the same location, but a high speed train network that would whisk tourists between continents and allow them to stop at a gateway to the Alps.

Tentative plans for the "Porta Alpina" station halfway along the new Gotthard tunnel were shelved because of the cost, 50 million francs.

But a huge cavern and evacuation siding has been prepared beneath the village of Sedrun, at the foot of an 800-metre lift shaft built by southern African mining specialists and close to some ambitious ski resorts.

AFP

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Old October 14th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #492
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Final push to the breakthrough

14.10.2010

The countdown has started: only 1.8 metres to go to a historic breakthrough in the Gotthard! Last Saturday evening at 10.17pm, the tunnelling machine successfully completed its approach to the 127.404km breakthrough position within the eastern tunnel.

The entire breakthrough area is now being secured, and the tunnelling machine prepared for the breakthrough itself. Preparations are also in full swing for the associated celebrations. On Friday, 15th October 2010 at 2pm, the tunnelling machine from Faido will be started up, and will push the last 1.8 metres of rock out in the direction of Sedrun. The miners, together with a small group of people who are involved in the project and guests (including Swiss Transport Minister Moritz Leuenberger), will be there to witness the main breakthrough to the Sedrun side. The general public will be able to follow the crucial Gotthard Base Tunnel breakthrough live, thanks to transmissions on Schweizer Fernsehen (SF), the French-speaking Swiss television company (Radio télévision Suisse, RTS) and the television company in Ticino (Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana RSI).
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Old October 15th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #493
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
I know that at least two access and exploratory tunnels for the Koralm have been built. Also some open-air parts of the new Koralm line are already opened but as a non-electrified single track.

But beside that I haven't really understood if the work is really ongoing or not (I think they are boring the main tunnels from one side...or maybe they are going to start in the enxt future). There is no english website, I don't speak German and even Google Translate is not of a big help as ÖBB's webiste is quite confusing.
To my knowledge the Koralmbahn the tunnel drilling is already in progress for a short time being. The whole Koralmbahn which is going to connect Graz with Klagenfurt is planned to be finished by 2020. (project page in German: http://www.oebb.at/infrastruktur/de/...bahn/index.jsp)

The Brennerbasistunnel is going ahead in planning has some agreed budget but I'll seriously doubt its sufficient. There are still question marks there.

The Semmeringbasistunnel is a never ending story and I would not sit there waiting for it.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #494
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Breakthrough is expected to be at 2 pm

It should be possible to follow it through here: http://www.tagesschau.sf.tv/sfvideo/...1-9e6273262346

or here: http://zattoo.com/view#SF1

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Old October 15th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #495
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Great Job!
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Old October 15th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #496
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There will be a live coverage on the tv channel 3Sat in Germany!
Starting at 13.00.

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Old October 15th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #497
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Live in French: http://www.tsr.ch/video/info/journal...t=1#id=1967124
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Old October 15th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #498
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Is there a livestream in english or italian anywhere?
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Old October 15th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #499
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wowowowo there it is!!!!
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Old October 15th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #500
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14:18 CET...it's done!
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