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Old March 17th, 2015, 05:30 PM   #961
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Christ, I hope they didn't dig up Freddy Mercury's body while excavating the tunnel!
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Old March 17th, 2015, 07:43 PM   #962
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If i was allowed to post youtube links, i would have posted the more appropriate video
"Break on through to other side" by The Doors :-)
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Old March 17th, 2015, 09:46 PM   #963
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Hey, who keeps you?
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Old March 18th, 2015, 11:57 PM   #964
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Video of the break through
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Old March 19th, 2015, 10:29 PM   #965
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Starting from October 2015 until May 2016 trains will make tests in the full length of the GBT, then after the inauguration in June regular trains (mostly freight) will start using the GBT but still using the old timetable (thus waiting their slot after having passed the GBT). Normal service will start in December with the timetable change, however this will actually mean a reduction to the number of trains running today, as works to enlarge loading gauge elsewhere on the Gotthard line will require closing one track of many tunnels (and closing the Luino branch line entirely for a few months, as it is single track). The end of these works is expected by the end of 2020. Beside that, SBB is also renovating tracks and overhead lines on many sections of the Gotthard line.

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Hey, who keeps you?
Likely because new users (= under a certain numbers of posts) cannot post youtube videos, just like unregistered users cannot see links and images in signatures. An antispam measure.
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Old March 20th, 2015, 01:23 AM   #966
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Are trains able to now run through the full length of the GBT west tube at 250 km/h?

This YouTube video would appear to show this:
Gotthard Base Tunnel - The Preview

(Skip to 3:40)
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 10:44 AM   #967
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Yes Coccodrillo
I'm a new user, so the system told me i could not post links and images :-(
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 11:12 PM   #968
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No, that video shows a train entering the west tube, then a short section of finished tunnel repeated many times (you don't see any switch cavern -there are 5 per tube- or any rescue station), and finally a train exiting the western tube from the south, but inverted simmetrically with a video editing programme.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 01:06 AM   #969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
No, that video shows a train entering the west tube, then a short section of finished tunnel repeated many times (you don't see any switch cavern -there are 5 per tube- or any rescue station), and finally a train exiting the western tube from the south, but inverted simmetrically with a video editing programme.
Cheers, I thought it looked a bit fake, as I never saw either of the multi function stations appearing in the video. Even so, it gives a bit of an idea what it will look like travelling through that tube at high speed.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 01:17 AM   #970
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Aww what a shame!
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Old March 24th, 2015, 11:53 PM   #971
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As I said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Starting from October 2015 until May 2016 trains will make tests in the full length of the GBT, then after the inauguration in June regular trains (mostly freight) will start using the GBT but still using the old timetable (thus waiting their slot after having passed the GBT). Normal service will start in December with the timetable change, however this will actually mean a reduction to the number of trains running today, as works to enlarge loading gauge elsewhere on the Gotthard line will require closing one track of many tunnels (and closing the Luino branch line entirely for a few months, as it is single track). The end of these works is expected by the end of 2020. Beside that, SBB is also renovating tracks and overhead lines on many sections of the Gotthard line.
...full scale tests will start in october, not before. And increased capacity will be available only by 2021 at the earliest.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 03:56 AM   #972
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It should be quite interesting to read all the news coming out about the GBT as it counts down to the 2016 opening.

There is still a lot of work remaining before 2 June 2016, but every month that passes more and more is completed.

Switzerland is to be admired for having the balls to create such a massive infrastructure project considering the country's small size and smallish population. Well done guys!

I wish we invested more in railways and less in roads.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 05:11 AM   #973
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Kudos to the Swiss, but remember that those large projects are mainly justified as connections between the large countries surrounding Switzerland (large when compared to Switzerland).

I mean, I wouldn't take AlpTransit's big works as a model for the railways of any small country, because if it was for Switzerland alone there would have been no AlpTransit, probably. Maybe not even the original Gotthard connection
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Due to Photobucket f*cking up, most images won't be visibile in my old posts. If you need anything specific, please write me.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 11:26 PM   #974
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AlpTransit is mainly justified by freight transit, however if it wasn't for citizens* there would have likely been a single north-south line (Gotthard OR Lötschberg OR Splügen), and not two half ones (Gotthard AND Lötschberg).

Then, another example is Spain, which is building a small-scale AlpTransit (25 km of base tunnel + a similar amount of others as the Variante de Pajares, roughly this: http://goo.gl/maps/0YiCT) just to connect the Asturies (around the double the population on the Swiss side of the two cantons served by AlpTransit, Ticino and Wallis-Valais).

*when rail projects are concerned, usually Swiss become YIMBY (yes, in my backyard), so to have the project approved both the Gotthard AND Lötschberg had to be included (and if the Valtellina remained in Switzerland, we would have also had the Splügen basistunnel wich was rejected instead)
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Old March 27th, 2015, 10:44 PM   #975
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Some photos of works to enlarge two short tunnels near Biasca (here). This is done to allow freight trains to leave the new line north of Biasca (here) so to be overtaken by passenger trains running on the new line.

http://www3.varesenews.it/gallerie/n...sit-20025.html

Article in Italian:

http://www3.varesenews.it/gallarate_...it-298990.html

Enlarging all the tunnels (around a dozen km of tunnels will be enlarged and renovated) on the Gotthard line which will not be replaced by the base tunnels is causing and will cause severe disruptions until 2020. This work will cost 1 billion CHF (roughly the same in EUR or USD), and at least a similar amount of money is being used to renovate tracks, overhead lines, stations etc.

The old Gotthard line section between Erstfeld and Biasca will be kept for regional traffic and as backup, however its tunnels (there are around 30 km of them, comparable to half GBT) will not be enlarged so only single-deck passenger and low intermodal freight trains will be able to eb diverted, as today.

The Lötschberg-Simplon line already has this bigger loading gauge, called P/C 80/400 profile, but on some of the old tunnels of this line only one of the two tracks has been adapted. This means there is a special signalling system, not present on other lines in Switzerland, to avoid sending a high train on the wrong track. It is common on rail networks around the world to have some lines with a bigger loading gauge than others, but having tracks of different gauges on the same line is unusual, and makes operations harder.

The GBT, CBT and LBT have an even bigger loading gauge, but this is not needed, it is just a margin for the future.
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Old March 27th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #976
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Why didn't they start those works years ago so that they could be finished at the same time or before base tunnels?
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Old March 27th, 2015, 11:16 PM   #977
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Because these works have been approved just a couple of years ago. Until 2012 or so it was planned to postpone them by a decade or more (thus to 2030), but finally politicians discovered that saving 1 billion making the others 14 billions of investments in AlpTransit much less useful was not very intelligent, and they approved these additional works. Going from political decision to actual construction was extremely quickly by Swiss standards, a couple of years compared to a couple of decades. That's why these works receive money from a separate funding mechanism, not from the traditional rail fund.

An additional note: the old Ceneri line tunnels will be enlarged to allow access to Lugano intermodal terminal: http://map.geo.admin.ch/?X=98142.20&...opo.swissimage
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Old March 28th, 2015, 04:33 AM   #978
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About how much lower do the tunnel floors have to be made?
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Old March 29th, 2015, 12:27 PM   #979
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The needed additional height for intermodal trains is around 20 cm, but according to the article they excavate around 1.5 m in the tunnel floor to have a final gain of 70 to 80 cm, so as to allow double deck passenger trains. Even if double deck passenger trains are higher, they have a round roof, while intermodal trains mostly carry containers and trailers ehich have a flat roof. This difference in the shape means that sometimes instead of lowering the floor they scrap the corners on the round top of the tunnels, like this example in the USA, or a combination of both systems. The difference of the roof shape, round or flat, also explain why on some routes double deck trains are allowed, but intermodals not.

At the same time, they also likely replace cables and water tubes that lies below the tracks, which also requires some space.
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Old March 30th, 2015, 12:57 AM   #980
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Thanks for that info. It's a good idea to only do one side of the tunnel at a time, so at least some rail capacity is kept.

I liked what the US had done with the tunnels, just removing enough concrete to allow double stacked containers to pass. That's one advantage to not having a cantery above: you can have much higher loads through tunnels.
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