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Old June 13th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #581
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I thought they'd use rigid catenary to lower maintenance costs and increase its lifespan in such a critical tunnel; I don't know if such catenary has been tested for these speeds, though
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Old July 6th, 2011, 05:05 AM   #582
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Status of work on the Gotthard and Ceneri

1/7/2011

[Translated from the German version of AlpTransit, as the English version hasn't been updated).

The interior work in the sections Erstfeld, Sedrun and Faido are progressing according to plan. Bodio-west of the installation of the railway running gear for the test track. [?]

Of the total of 39.78 km of the Ceneri base tunnel, 13.58 km or 34.2% has been excavated. The advance rate in June was 468 meters.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 05:08 AM   #583
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Oh BTW, Has anyone else noticed this typo on AlpTransit:

The word's longest railway tunnel is being constructed here.

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Old July 24th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #584
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The official translation:

Quote:
Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri

01.07.2011

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 May 2011, 13.58 km, or 34.2%, had been excavated. The total amount driven in June was 468 m.
Most of the tunnel has been lined. Here an image showing progress in Faido section: http://www.tat-ti.ch/fileadmin/user_...Uebersicht.pdf
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Old July 24th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #585
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"German Rail Link to Mega-Tunnel May Lack Funds"

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...775942,00.html
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Old July 24th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #586
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Unfortunately it's true, this line has faced a lot of problems even if technically easy (no relevant tunnels or bridges), except for the 9.4 km Katzenbergtunnel which has already been built.

The situation on the Italian side is even worse, as traffic has either to pass through Milan (full of suburban trains) or via Luino (single track line).

I hope that the target of 650.000 truck limit will really be achieved. This could maybe speed up works.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 06:19 AM   #587
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
The situation on the Italian side is even worse, as traffic has either to pass through Milan (full of suburban trains) or via Luino (single track line).

I hope that the target of 650.000 truck limit will really be achieved. This could maybe speed up works.
What are the Italian plans to optimise connections to CH's new high speed line? Bypass Milan? Something else?
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Old July 25th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #588
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* building a new single track line between Bellinzona (near letters C and D in the map below), Luino and Laveno Mombello (there is no space for a parallel second track along the existing line because of mountains)
* doubling the Arona-Oleggio-Vignale-Novara line (I'm not aware of plas for doubling the Laveno-Sesto Calende-Oleggio part, which has no passenger traffic outside 3 rush hour trains, so capacity here is sufficient for the near future)
* quadrupling Chiasso-Seregno (on the mainline to Milano), doubling Seregno-Carnate Usmate (or maybe a new line), building a new line from Carnate Usmate to a point located between Bergamo and Treviglio to bypass Milan

Map: http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/...ilano-area.gif
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Old July 28th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #589
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Well hopefully Germany and Italy will get their acts together and build their respective connections within the next five years.

Otherwise the GBT will not exactly be a white elephant, but be seriously under utilised for its intended purpose.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #590
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Italy should do something also on its own lines, far from the border itself. There are traffics, say, like Rome-Milan by truck, transhipment, Milan-Hamburg by train. Doing the entire trip by train would be better...
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Old July 28th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Italy should do something also on its own lines, far from the border itself. There are traffics, say, like Rome-Milan by truck, transhipment, Milan-Hamburg by train. Doing the entire trip by train would be better...

I've often wondered why there is no 'strategic plan' in Italy to do this given that, as with Novatrans in France, once upon a time CEMAT intermodal services did carry semi-trailers.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #592
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One of the reasons of the road-rail transhipment around Milan (or Verona for the Brenner) is that south of Bologna all railways were (obviously) built to small profile and never enlarged, thus traffic going there requires special and more expensive wagons (like in the UK).
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Old July 28th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
One of the reasons of the road-rail transhipment around Milan (or Verona for the Brenner) is that south of Bologna all railways were (obviously) built to small profile and never enlarged, thus traffic going there requires special and more expensive wagons (like in the UK).

Your point about the profile is true, but not the one about special wagons.

The reason why special wagon designs have been necessary for piggyback services in Britain relates to the width of the loading gauge at the chassis level.

In other words, even if the British loading gauge had the height clearances for 4m-high semi-trailers, standard piggyback wagon designs could not run.

There's a fleet of dark-blue 'mega 3' wagons in use with TX Logistik. Owned by NACCO, they look noticably slimmer than any wagon you'll see on a Hupac or Kombiverkehr train, for example. They were meant for use in Britain, but of course the height problem in Britain effectively rules out any kind of commercial piggyback operation.

In Italy, the rail network only suffers from a height problem - hence why standard piggyback wagons can be seen in some CEMAT trains, even if they are only carrying swap bodies or containers.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #594
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Unfortunately it's true, this line has faced a lot of problems even if technically easy (no relevant tunnels or bridges), except for the 9.4 km Katzenbergtunnel which has already been built.
Well, it looks to me like a well-know and oft-seen political ploy: the opponents of Stuttgart-21 declare that "if we have to build that, then there will be no money for the link to Switzerland". They know full well that there will be an international outcry at that threat. DB last year tried something similar with the new Fehmarn railway link to eastern Denmark, telling the politicians that if their investment budget was reduced then they could tear up their state treaty with the Danish government. Creating a stir and relying on the neighbouring country to come to your rescue...

That said, there's also an issue on the Swiss side of the border. It's all very good that Gotthard will soon be a reality, and that the Germans (hopefully) will get their act together in the Rhine Valley. But unless the Swiss start moving quickly on the much-discussed Wisenbergtunnel I'm not sure how much will be gained. It looks to me like we then get a new bottleneck - this time in the Jura mountains.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
In Italy, the rail network only suffers from a height problem - hence why standard piggyback wagons can be seen in some CEMAT trains, even if they are only carrying swap bodies or containers.
The height south of Bologna forbid also 9'6'' containers and the highest swap bodies on standard flat wagons, not only semitrailers. There wagons with a low floor have to be used, which are something more expensive.

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But unless the Swiss start moving quickly on the much-discussed Wisenbergtunnel I'm not sure how much will be gained. It looks to me like we then get a new bottleneck - this time in the Jura mountains.
It will be a problem, but less urgent than bottlenecks around Milan, in my opinion. The existing Basel-Olten line will be upgraded for 500 trains/day, and the Basel-Brugg-Rotkreuz line has still some spare capacity.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #596
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Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri

Quote:
01.08.2011

Gotthard Base Tunnel, Sedrun.
On July 8, 2011, in the Erstfeld-Amsteg East section, the technical inspection took place. On July 19, 2011, ATG handed over this section and the associated pre-portal area to the railway infrastructure consortium.

On July 18, 2011, the operational readiness of the Rynächt installations site was officially determined. At Bodio West, installation of the railway infrastructure for the test section is in progress.

In the Gotthard Base Tunnel, lining work in the Erstfeld, Sedrun and Faido sections is progressing according to plan. Installation of the 114.6 km invert is complete. Of the total of 114.6 km of vault, 105.977 km, or 92%, have been concreted.

Of the total of 39.78 km of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, at the end of July 2011, 13.96 km, or 35.1%, had been excavated. Concreting work continues in both tubes.
..
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Old August 24th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #597
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Gotthard Base Tunnel to be operational from 2016
22.08.2011

The Federal Office of Transport (FOT), AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd (ATG), and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB AG) will do everything possible to make the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) operational from December 2016. All work in the GBT and on the approach lines will be in support of this goal.

ATG as constructor of the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) as future operator have coordinated their timetables. They plan to start scheduled train services through the GBT from the end of 2016. Together with FOT as orderer and supervisory authority, a detailed analysis was performed of the advantages and disadvantages that making the GBT operational one year earlier than planned in 2016 would bring. Based on this analysis, FOT regards the start of scheduled train services through the GBT from the end of 2016 as realistic, feasible and appropriate. There are no currently apparent problems that would preclude going into operation at the end of 2016.

By going into operation in 2016 with a still to be defined offering of scheduled train services, benefits from use of the flat route through the GBT will be generated already one year earlier than planned to date. Specific benefits are as follows:

shorter journey times in passenger services between German-speaking Switzerland and the Ticino and Italy;
increased productivity in goods traffic; and, as a result,
a contribution to transferring trans-Alpine goods traffic from road to rail.
Besides these benefits there will be additional operating costs that occur one year earlier. The earlier start of operations also means that time reserves are eliminated and the work of the various parties involved must be coordinated even more precisely. This increases the demands on the project management.

Within the framework of periodic progress reviews, FOT, ATG and SBB will jointly undertake an integral risk analysis of the entire north-south axis through the Gotthard.

Train service offerings from 2016 still to be defined

The extent of the train services for passengers and freight to be offered from December 2016 must still be defined. The date from which the currently planned maximum of seven trains per hour and direction can travel through the GBT depends on completion of the Ceneri Base Tunnel and the status of expansion of the approach lines north and south of the Gotthard. The specific timetable offering will be determined two years ahead of the start of operations as part of the normal two-year timetable planning in 2014. Final confirmation of the starting date for operations will only be possible at that stage.

With the decision by everyone involved to aim for operations to begin at the end of 2016, this construction project of the century enters a crucial phase.

For further information:
Federal Office of Transport, Information, 031 322 36 43, [email protected]
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Old August 25th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #598
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The specific timetable offering will be determined two years ahead of the start of operations as part of the normal two-year timetable planning in 2014. Final confirmation of the starting date for operations will only be possible at that stage.
What a mess! Sure it is good to have the project completed on time, before major renovation on the Gotthard road tunnel begins. However, why in this Earth would someone plan a timetable two years ahead of time? It seems like an overkill, the press release focus too much on timetable and too little in the engineering part of the project.

You can decide on your timetable 2 months ahead of time, even closer provided you have appropriate rolling stock.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #599
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No, you can't, unless you are used to waste taxpayer's money like Italy.

In Switzerland only useful things are built. That's why the Minister of Transports firstly plan the needed type of service together with local authorities, secondly the MoT together with the railway company involved plans exactly what infrastructure is needed (up to the position of a single switch in every station), and only at the end of the planning process works can begin.

Careful planification allow to handle 170 trains a day on partially single track lines, or 400 to 500 trains a day on double track lines, saving a lot of our money reducing construction costs. A badly planned timetable can halve the capacity of these kinds of lines to 80 and 250 trains per day respectively.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #600
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No, you can't, unless you are used to waste taxpayer's money like Italy.
It is not about wasting public money, but building infrastructure without micro-managing its use.

In Switzerland, a company like NTV would never have any chance to operate because of the oppressive system in which every bit of rail infrastructure is taken by centrally defined scheduled trains. Even hostile competition of International trains is difficult there unless SBB collaborates. Fair enough, Switzerland is not part of EU, but it forces every foreign operator to bend to their rules and priorities. Cisalpino is a good late example of that. They wanted to kill Cisalpino before the new Gotthard tunnel entered operation, to avoid it taking a higher share of a market (Ticino - rest of CH) SBB wants to fierce control as a monopolist.

Quote:
In Switzerland only useful things are built. That's why the Minister of Transports firstly plan the needed type of service together with local authorities, secondly the MoT together with the railway company involved plans exactly what infrastructure is needed (up to the position of a single switch in every station), and only at the end of the planning process works can begin.
Non-sense! It would be like building a new runway only after careful planning, in a monopolistic way, with airlines interested in operating previously defined routes 2 years in advance of the opening of a new terminal!

Quote:
Careful planification allow to handle 170 trains a day on partially single track lines, or 400 to 500 trains a day on double track lines, saving a lot of our money reducing construction costs. A badly planned timetable can halve the capacity of these kinds of lines to 80 and 250 trains per day respectively.
They are overstretching the rail lines' capacity. Should a problem, weather or technical, happens, the whole system is bring to a halt because of the use of every single bit of track and path to its maximum.

Anyway, the idea of building infrastructure for previously defined use is keen to communist countries and their centrally planned approaches. It doesn't fit the otherwise business friendly atmosphere of CH.
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