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Old March 23rd, 2011, 06:47 PM   #541
Coccodrillo
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Gotthard Base Tunnel: Driving complete

23.03.2011

On March 23, 2011, the miners excavated the last metres of rock in the west tube between Faido and Sedrun. Around five months after the final breakthrough in the east tube, both single-track tunnels of the Gotthard Base Tunnel are therefore completely driven over a continuous length of 57 kilometres.

The tunnel boring machine from Faido broke through into the Sedrun section at 12:20 pm. The miners of the two sections could again shake hands. "With the end of excavation under the Gotthard, a further important milestone has been reached in the construction of the world's longest railway tunnel", says Renzo Simoni, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd.

Mainly excavated by tunnel boring machine
With this second final breakthrough, a construction phase comes to an end which began in 2001 in the southern section at Bodio and was already prepared from 1996 with the construction of logistical access tunnels at Amsteg, Sedrun, Faido and Bodio, as well as the sinking of two 800 metres-deep shafts at Sedrun. Of the around 152-kilometres-long tunnel system of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, including all passages and shafts, around 56 % were excavated by tunnel boring machine and around 44 % by drilling and blasting. During the excavations, a total of more than 28 million metric tons of rock were transported out from under the mountains.

Railway infrastructure to be installed by 2016
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. will hand over the tunnel to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) in operating condition at the end of May 2016. Until then, the focus of construction work will be on the tunnel lining, infrastructure systems and railway installations. This work has already started in the previously completed sections of tunnel in parallel with the final driving and concrete-shell construction activities.

AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd.
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. is the constructor of the Gotthard axis of the New Rail Link through the Alps with base tunnels through the Gotthard and Ceneri. Established in 1998 as a subsidiary of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), the company now employs around 150 people at its headquarters in Lucerne and its branches in Altdorf, Sedrun, Faido and Bellinzona.
From ATG website: http://www.alptransit.ch/en/news/art...b-ist-beendet/ (the Italian and German versions have some more details and the speeches held during before and after the breakthrough)

To be precise, this is probably not the end of excavation, as there may be some cross tunnels linking the two tubes left, a few dozen metres in total.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #542
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The first track in the eastern tube, just a few hundred kilometres long.

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Old March 25th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #543
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Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
The first track in the eastern tube, just a few hundred kilometres long.
Are You sure about this ?
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Old March 25th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #544
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Obviously not! I had initially written "a few hundred meters", later I wanted to change it to "a few kilometres", but I made a mistake. I don't know how much track had already been laid, but it should be around 1,5 to 2 km in the western tube starting from the south. The eastern tube is still being used to supply the workers who are lining the tunnel (the red parts in the drawing).
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Old April 7th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #545
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The 30th AlpTransit report has been published: http://www.bav.admin.ch/alptransit/index.html?lang=fr (on the right, only in the three official languages)

Quote:
Stand der Arbeiten am Gotthard und am Ceneri

04.04.2011

Am 1. April 2011 waren von den insgesamt 151.84 km Tunnel, Schächte und Stollen des Gotthard-Basistunnels 151.70 km oder 99.91 % ausgebrochen. Der Vortrieb im März 2011 betrug 453 m. Die Vortriebsarbeiten im Gotthard-Basistunnel sind bis auf 40m bei einem Querschlag abgeschlossen. Beim Tagbautunnel West in Erstfeld fehlen noch 118 m bis zum Anschluss an das bergmännische Portal.

Beim Ceneri-Basistunnel waren von den insgesamt 39.78 km Ende März 2011 12.345 km oder 31% ausgebrochen.
99.9% of the GBT and 31% of the CBT have been bored.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 02:00 PM   #546
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The 2010 film has been published by ATG, for the second time also in English (other than German and Italian): http://www.alptransit.ch/en/service/...nsit-gotthard/

The usual monthly update:

Quote:
Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri

As of April 1, 2011, of the total of 151.84 km of tunnels, galleries and passages of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, 151.7 km, or 99.91%, had been excavated. The total amount driven in March 2011 was 453 m.

Of the total of 39.78 km of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, at the end of March 2011, 12.345 km, or 21%, had been excavated.
The 0.09% still to be bored is composed by two cross passages and part of the artificial tunnel section of the northern portal.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 08:07 PM   #547
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Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri

04.05.2011

Except for 40 metres of a cross-passage in the Faido section, driving work in the Gotthard Base Tunnel is complete. In the west cut-and-cover tunnel at Erstfeld, 77 metres remain until the connection to the underground portal. Lining work in the Erstfeld, Sedrun and Faido sections is progressing according to plan. At Bodio West, installation of the railway infrastructure for the test section is in progress.

Of the total of 39.78 km of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, at the end of April 2011, 12.66 km, or 31.8%, had been excavated.
http://www.alptransit.ch/en/news/art...4/bezeichnung/
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:36 AM   #548
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On May 20th 500 randomly choosen visitors will travel through the first kilometres of the base tunnel for the first time on the recently laid tracks. Free shuttle bus from Biasca railway station to the work site, then by train until a point somewhere in the mountain.

http://www.alptransit.ch/en/visit-us...site-open-day/ (a more detailed presentation is available only in Italian and German)
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:56 PM   #549
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http://www.bls.ch/i/unternehmen/fotogalerie-neat.php
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Old May 13th, 2011, 04:14 AM   #550
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why is it going to take until 2017 to put the tunnel in operation? I can understand some time for installing systems, particularly ventilation that is needed for other works/test to proceed, but I can't understand why the need for 6 years for all of that until commercial operations begin - assuming no further delays.

In any case, that the Swiss built 2 single-track transalpine tunnels instead of one transalpine tunnel with double tracks or - even better - one road, one rail tunnel is beyond my ability to understand that small country just north of Milano.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 08:06 AM   #551
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Maybe it has something to do with your abilities rather with the project?

And the reason for the time it takes to do the installation is already written some pages ago.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
In any case, that the Swiss built 2 single-track transalpine tunnels instead of one transalpine tunnel with double tracks or - even better - one road, one rail tunnel is beyond my ability to understand that small country just north of Milano.
The new Gotthard tunnel is double track, the new Lötschberg tunnel is partly single track, both with two parallel single track tubes for safety and maintenance reasons (in the case of the Lötschberg, one third has two tracks in two tubes, one third has one track in one tube + a parallel rail tube, full profile but without the track, one third has one track in one tube + a parallel small diametre service tunnel).

This is what voters decided to build, just like they rejected a project proposing third lanes on Geneva-Lausanne, Berne-Zürich and a second Gotthard road tunnel, plus some money for urban public transport.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
In any case, that the Swiss built 2 single-track transalpine tunnels instead of one transalpine tunnel with double tracks or - even better - one road, one rail tunnel is beyond my ability to understand that small country just north of Milano.
It's probably also beyond your ability to understand why the French and the English built two singne track tunnels under the Channel...
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Old May 13th, 2011, 05:22 PM   #554
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The Swiss want to put more goods on railways to prevent an increase of traffic on their highways. And that is the best solution for the ever increasing heavy truck traffic in Europe.

Whole Europe should follow this example!
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Old May 14th, 2011, 02:14 AM   #555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
why is it going to take until 2017 to put the tunnel in operation? I can understand some time for installing systems, particularly ventilation that is needed for other works/test to proceed, but I can't understand why the need for 6 years for all of that until commercial operations begin - assuming no further delays.
The official site states that the tunnel will be handed over to its owners at the end of May 2016 now. So that's an improvement on earlier estimates of late 2017.

If you take a look at progress on the aforementioned official site, you can see that there's still a huge amount of work to do on the tunnel yet: many km of concrete lining left to do, electrics, the catenary, drainage, not to mention testing of all these systems once they're installed.

IMO, this would have to be one of the most complex tunnels ever built because of the sheer number of systems in place due to its extreme length.

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(This is my first post as a registered user.)
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Old May 14th, 2011, 03:36 AM   #556
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Will that intermediate station, 1000m below ground, be opened at the same time? I still don't get why are they building a station, in the middle of the tunnel, though. I do understand the need for ventilation shafts and service accesses, but opening a station in the middle of the mountains seems a bit over the top.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 04:08 AM   #557
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Will that intermediate station, 1000m below ground, be opened at the same time? I still don't get why are they building a station, in the middle of the tunnel, though. I do understand the need for ventilation shafts and service accesses, but opening a station in the middle of the mountains seems a bit over the top.
Nope, Porta Alpina was put on indefinate hold a few years ago.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #558
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The Porta Alpina was the mother of all pipe dreams.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #559
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You could even say the people promoting it had tunnel vision. :P
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 09:12 AM   #560
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Quote:
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Hi Coccodrillo,
The picture you posted above shows the tunnel with lights lining the walls. Is this typical of modern Swiss tunnels, to have lights on all the time?
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