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Old January 28th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #701
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Works is going on without spectacular events. Around 30% of the tracks have been laid, and works for the Giustizia junction (one of the two on the southern end) started, being the last "big" group of works to start. It includes a short 64 m tunnel under a road (actually it's more a "wide bridge" than a tunnel, as it is above ground with the road climbing over it, but it's still considered a tunnel).

Progression of rail infrastructure works can bee seen here: http://www.alptransit.ch/en/status-o...structure.html (open the PDF below to see the image with English legend)

North of the Ceneri tunnel the viaducts are under construction, around 500 m of them can be seen, but they are not very tall as they are above a plain and just needed to cross roads and the Locarno-Ceneri-Locarno chord (there will be a jucntion just before the end of the tunnel). Two road underpasses are nearly finished, one of them 80 m long and with 4 lanes (for the A13).
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Old February 5th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
North of the Ceneri tunnel the viaducts are under construction, around 500 m of them can be seen, but they are not very tall as they are above a plain and just needed to cross roads and the Locarno-Ceneri-Locarno chord (there will be a jucntion just before the end of the tunnel). Two road underpasses are nearly finished, one of them 80 m long and with 4 lanes (for the A13).
When is the Ceneri-breakthrough planned? 2014?
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Old February 5th, 2013, 11:49 PM   #703
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2015 if I remember correctly which does seem a bit long considering how much has been excavated already
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Old February 6th, 2013, 12:21 AM   #704
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2015 if I remember correctly which does seem a bit long considering how much has been excavated already
Thanks. It seems quite long to me too.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #705
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Thanks. It seems quite long to me too.
There are 39.8 km of tunnels in total. 23.5 km have been excavated to date, leaving 16.3 km to be excavated. The miners are averaging around 500 metres per month (in all four headings combined).

At this rate of progress, it'll be just over 32 months before excavation is complete, which would be October 2015 (Assuming the monthly 500 metres is maintained).
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Old February 26th, 2013, 01:04 PM   #706
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The Ae 6/6 11501 will soon be used for test runs in the 15 km of the western tube completed to the south. It is a locomotive built in the 1950s, at its last practical use before being scrapped (or being put in a museum, who knows?). It will be the first electric train to run into the tunnel.

The track link between the base line and the old line is still a temporary one, so it's likely that the electrified part of the base line will still be not directly connected to the main network.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #707
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From Jungfraumedia channel on Youtube:

Visit to Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels on 14th of February 2013:

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Old March 6th, 2013, 08:32 AM   #708
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From Jungfraumedia channel on Youtube:

Visit to Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels on 14th of February 2013:

Thanks, that was really awesome to see so much of the completed tunnel works and to be able to travel inside the tunnels.
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Old March 16th, 2013, 10:54 PM   #709
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Between Saturday 9-3-2013 and the next Monday one of the two new bridges over the A2 just north of the CBT's northern portal has been moved by nearly 15 metres. It was built on the side of the old bridge, which has been demolished. The new bridge has been used during the demolition of the old one before being moved to be used for the Locarno/Luino line. Another double track bridge will be built to be used by the Ceneri base line. The new bridge weights 4000 tonnes, is 100 m long and 14 m wide. The motorway has not been closed during the move of the bridge (the railway remained closed from midday on Saturday until 5 am on Monday).

[IMG]http://i45.************/2ykb6ft.jpg[/IMG]

An accelerated video:



Two other viaducts are under construction nearby, of 500 (southbound track of the base line) and 1000 m (northbound track) in length respectively, as well as two road underpasses (of which one with four lanes and around 100 m covered).
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Old March 16th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Between Saturday 9-3-2013 and the next Monday one of the two new bridges over the A2 just north of the CBT's northern portal has been moved by nearly 15 metres. It was built on the side of the old bridge, which has been demolished. The new bridge has been used during the demolition of the old one before being moved to be sued for the Locarno/Luino line. Another double track bridge will be built to be used by the Ceneri base line. The new bridge weights 4000 tonnes, is 100 m long and 14 m wide. The motorway has not been closed during the move of the bridge (the railway remained closed from midday on Saturday until 5 am on Monday).


Two other viaducts are under construction nearby, of 500 (southbound track of the base line) and 1000 m (northbound track) in length respectively, as well as two road underpasses (of which one with four lanes and around 100 m covered).
Thanks Cocco. AlpTransit has a couple of pics of the bridge on their site also.
http://www.alptransit.ch/en/photos/c.../camorino.html

Will you be attending the next open day at Camorino on 27 April?
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Old March 17th, 2013, 01:47 AM   #711
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Will you be attending the next open day at Camorino on 27 April?
Probably yes.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 08:04 PM   #712
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Gotthardbahn trough Pollegio/TI, on a section of line which will be replaced by new tracks (on the right) to allow the connection to the Gotthard base tunnel. The train stop visible in the video, Pollegio, was closed in the 80s or 90s. I will publish a video when the new section opens, likely around Winter 2013/2014.



Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOn3TpN1atQ
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 12:24 PM   #713
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One track of that new line will open on 7 July, the other on 14 July, allowing the demolition of the old line.

Here the 5 new tracks: two for the new alignment of the old line, two for the base line, and one where south-north freights will stop to be overtaken by passenger trains before entering the Tunnel. North-south freights will switch from the base line to the old line there. The two lines meet each other again around 6 km south, where the new line ends.

[IMG]http://i45.************/154cduu.jpg[/IMG]

The two track today in sue will be connected to the two on the right. The nearly completed south-north base line running track can be seen, before the end of the year test trains will start running on it up to 230 km/h and up to 16 km inside the mountain. Note that the other tunnel tube still hosts the narrow gauge line used to transport construction materials.

(I'm sure they will try to go over 300 km/h in tests when the tunnel will be finished, but I suppose now the track is too short and the infrastructure too new to try)

[IMG]http://i45.************/30nbtie.jpg[/IMG]

The other side of the diversion, with a temporary switch and the two definitive tracks being laid. On the background the new triple track line.

[IMG]http://i46.************/jfkiev.jpg[/IMG]

Now the Faido work site. The building under construction with the two red-white cranes is a service building hiding the 2,7 km access tunnel. The other tunnelling infrastructure is being dismantled.

[IMG]http://i47.************/2z88cd2.jpg[/IMG]

The Amsteg work site has been completely removed, and now is just a flat area covered by gravel. It will later be covered by grass, or maybe converted to a field.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 09:16 PM   #714
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Thanks for all the great pics Cocco. Just a question:
Will the branch from the north be a level one? Meaning that one train will have to stop and wait for another train to cross? Much like you would have to in a car at an intersection?

The southern branch where the Ceneri Base Tunnel starts appears to be the same: a level crossing.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 11:20 PM   #715
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Yes, all five connections will be flat, except the one in Erstfeld (GBT north), where the southbound track of the old line will go over the base line.

However, south of the GBT there will be two junctions, arranged in a way so that conflicting movements (such as the one you cited) will be minimized. I made a diagram to explain why, omitting tracks and switches not relevant in the day-to-day usage. 1-2-3 are Biasca's station tracks, A-B-C-D-E are tracks around Pollegio junction, X-Y are tracks to the south.

Let's start with main traffic flows: intercity passenger and freights (traffic runs on the left).

* northbound IC: comes on track X, after Giustizia junction continues straight on track B
* northbound freight: like the IC, but then goes on track A, so that an IC can run at speed on B (actually there will be batches of three freights stopping on A, then being overtaken by an IC, so that when these freight are on the other side of the tunnel they can be overtaken by the next IC, the same principle happens in the other direction)
* southbound IC: exit the tunnel on C then continues on Y
* southbound freight: exit the tunnel on track C, uses the diagonal track, then track E, Biasca's track 2, then track Y (three freights do that, so meanwhile an IC overtake them on track C)

But then there are the other trains.

* regional train from Bellinzona to Biasca: arrives on X, then goes on track 1 in Biasca and after some time reverse, going back on Y ==> it intersects southbound ICs (in Giustizia junction), but not southbound freights
* regional train from Bellinzona to Biasca and then the old line (tracks D and E): they are in conflict with the IC as the case above but only twice per hour, they are also in conflict with southbound freights but this crossing can be moved from Pollegio to Biasca ==> such regional train can thus change running side in Biasca going on track 2, then E, while a freight exiting the tunnel from C would run on track D ==> freights and regional would cross each other on the right (instead from the left) between Biasca and Pollegio, thus southbound freights trains don't have to stop inside the tunnel to wait a Biasca-Summit Line train to pass ==> no conflict in this problematic point
* regional trains summit line > track E > track 2 in Biasca station > track Y don't pose a problem, if they are timed correctly

Note that I'm not aware of any plan of IC trains stopping in Biasca and coming from/going to the tunnel, in this case southbound ICs wouldn't pose a problem, while northbound ICs might pose a little conflict and would have to be carefully timed. Obviously these latter would switch from track D to track B of the tunnel using a track link I have not shown in the drawing.

[IMG]http://i45.************/hskdbp.jpg[/IMG]

As for the Ceneri base tunnel, north of it there will be a flat junction for trains CBT-Bellinzona and viceversa, while trains CBT-Locarno and viceversa aren't in conflict with the previous flow (this single track link run below the northbound track to Bellinzona). In addition to that, a third track might be built between Giubiasco and Bellinzona. Giubiasco is where the Ceneri summit line, Ceneri base line, and the Locarno line, all double track, join each other on two tracks. If it is built then the Bellinzona-Giubiasco-Locarno (or Luino) passenger trains might use only the third track, without having to cross the main north-south line. In this case only some freights (Gotthard-Bellinzona-Luino and beyond) would have to cross other trains (Ceneri-Bellinzona-Gotthard).

The link near the southern portal will be flat, because it's on the side of a hill with no way to build overpasses for one track at a reasonable cost. However most trains will use the base tunnel, not the Ceneri's summit line, so that conflicting movements will not be too many (only two southbound regional trains per hour would have to cross the main northbound flow).
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Old April 4th, 2013, 02:14 AM   #716
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Yes, all five connections will be flat, except the one in Erstfeld (GBT north), where the southbound track of the old line will go over the base line.

However, south of the GBT there will be two junctions, arranged in a way so that conflicting movements (such as the one you cited) will be minimized. I made a diagram to explain why, omitting tracks and switches not relevant in the day-to-day usage. 1-2-3 are Biasca's station tracks, A-B-C-D-E are tracks around Pollegio junction, X-Y are tracks to the south.

Let's start with main traffic flows: intercity passenger and freights (traffic runs on the left).

* northbound IC: comes on track X, after Giustizia junction continues straight on track B
* northbound freight: like the IC, but then goes on track A, so that an IC can run at speed on B (actually there will be batches of three freights stopping on A, then being overtaken by an IC, so that when these freight are on the other side of the tunnel they can be overtaken by the next IC, the same principle happens in the other direction)
* southbound IC: exit the tunnel on C then continues on Y
* southbound freight: exit the tunnel on track C, uses the diagonal track, then track E, Biasca's track 2, then track Y (three freights do that, so meanwhile an IC overtake them on track C)

But then there are the other trains.

* regional train from Bellinzona to Biasca: arrives on X, then goes on track 1 in Biasca and after some time reverse, going back on Y ==> it intersects southbound ICs (in Giustizia junction), but not southbound freights
* regional train from Bellinzona to Biasca and then the old line (tracks D and E): they are in conflict with the IC as the case above but only twice per hour, they are also in conflict with southbound freights but this crossing can be moved from Pollegio to Biasca ==> such regional train can thus change running side in Biasca going on track 2, then E, while a freight exiting the tunnel from C would run on track D ==> freights and regional would cross each other on the right (instead from the left) between Biasca and Pollegio, thus southbound freights trains don't have to stop inside the tunnel to wait a Biasca-Summit Line train to pass ==> no conflict in this problematic point
* regional trains summit line > track E > track 2 in Biasca station > track Y don't pose a problem, if they are timed correctly

Note that I'm not aware of any plan of IC trains stopping in Biasca and coming from/going to the tunnel, in this case southbound ICs wouldn't pose a problem, while northbound ICs might pose a little conflict and would have to be carefully timed. Obviously these latter would switch from track D to track B of the tunnel using a track link I have not shown in the drawing.

[IMG]http://i45.************/hskdbp.jpg[/IMG]

As for the Ceneri base tunnel, north of it there will be a flat junction for trains CBT-Bellinzona and viceversa, while trains CBT-Locarno and viceversa aren't in conflict with the previous flow (this single track link run below the northbound track to Bellinzona). In addition to that, a third track might be built between Giubiasco and Bellinzona. Giubiasco is where the Ceneri summit line, Ceneri base line, and the Locarno line, all double track, join each other on two tracks. If it is built then the Bellinzona-Giubiasco-Locarno (or Luino) passenger trains might use only the third track, without having to cross the main north-south line. In this case only some freights (Gotthard-Bellinzona-Luino and beyond) would have to cross other trains (Ceneri-Bellinzona-Gotthard).

The link near the southern portal will be flat, because it's on the side of a hill with no way to build overpasses for one track at a reasonable cost. However most trains will use the base tunnel, not the Ceneri's summit line, so that conflicting movements will not be too many (only two southbound regional trains per hour would have to cross the main northbound flow).
Thanks a lot for that detailed explanation. If there wasn't careful management of this, a major head on or side on crash could occur between two trains at any of these 'intersections'.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #717
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With modern ATP systems like the ETCS that shouldn't occur in any case...
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Old April 5th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #718
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The problem with the lack of flyovers in Switzerland is that it constrains for decades the maximum speed and the operating patterns of trains.

Ideally, important rail junctions should be always grade-separated. That way, if protocols of ECTS are vastly improving and new braking technologies deployed, you can speed up trains without having to invest billions of CHF because some bureaucrat at FSS decided station x can only be served by trains every 30 minutes such that another path is not crossed by an incoming train.

You should always overbuild infrastructure to allow for future changes by having it at overcapacity.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #719
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Apparently at least a viewing point will be built at the bottom of the Sedrun shaft, so that visits to the tunnel infrastructure can be organized, with a view of the southbound track. Another viewing point might be built in Amsteg. Visits to the Lötschberg base tunnel are already possible, but not to the traffic tubes.

The eastern tube is being used from the south to transport materials into the mountain with standard gauge trains.

The Ceneri base tunnel is being excavated from a middle access tunnel. Progression south from there is good, but north of this access is one year late. Unfortunately, the tunnel cannot be bored from the north because of nimbysm and tracks cannot be easily laid in the already bored and lined tunnel because they have to be laid preferably from the north, as in the middle and southern work sites there is not much space.

More info on the annual summary of the status of the works: http://www.news.admin.ch/message/ind...e&msg-id=48366 (de-fr-it, there are reports also for other projects)
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Old April 5th, 2013, 01:19 AM   #720
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Quote:
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The problem with the lack of flyovers in Switzerland is that it constrains for decades the maximum speed and the operating patterns of trains.
The problem is that workers in Europe don't like to work for free, material suppliers pretend to be paid, inhabitants want to be compensated if their house has to be demolished to make space for a public work, citizens don't like to have their money wasted, and so on.

Ah, if only we all lived as slaves in a dictatorship, things would be far easier to build...
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