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Old June 19th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #81
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Today the Loetschberg Tunnel was officially opened! It has been completed exactly in time and costed 4.3 billion Swiss Francs. Meanwhile the Gotthard Basis tunnel costs more and more every day and its opening was postponed again to 2017.
The cost of the Lötschberg base tunnel was initially planned to be 3.2 billions.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 03:35 AM   #82
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It´s been a while since the last update...


http://www.alptransit.ch/pages/e/index.php

Communiqué of 03.08.2007

68.1 percent of the Gotthard Base Tunnel excavated

On August 1, 2007, of the total of 153.5 km of tunnels, galleries and passages of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, 104.4 km or 68.1 % had been excavated.
The total amount driven in July 2007 was 359 metres.





Status of the Work in Gotthard North (Altdorf/Rynächt)
Work on the Rynächt underpass (Lot 006) is progressing according to plan. Now that the awards of the road construction (Lot 007) and Rynächt Embankment (Lot 012) have become legally effective, the work contracts are being drawn up. Construction work on Lot 007 will start in September 2007 and on Lot 012 in autumn 2007.

Construction of Rynächt underpass




Status of the Work in Erstfeld
The structure of the information pavilion is standing, and interior work will start very soon. The visitor pavilion and office building are also going up. In the East Preparatory Cut, assembly of the gantry crane is complete and parts for the TBM are arriving continuously. Replacement of the pre-loading ballast for the assembly of the TBM has started. On Lot 106 (Water Treatment), assembly work has started on the control and measuring instruments. The retention basins have been re-leased for use. Various assembly and installation works are in progress on Lot 110 (Spoil Processing).

Parts of TBM




Status of the Work in Amsteg
Drilling and blasting in the east tunnel was completed on May 31, 2007. The final 20 m to the Amsteg/Sedrun section boundary will be excavated from Sedrun. In the west tunnel, approximately 90 m remain to be driven by drilling and blasting. In the east tunnel, approximately 1,200 m of tunnel roof have been concreted.

Dismantling of TBM




Status of the Work in Sedrun
In both tunnels, driving in the northern direction is still proceeding at a good rate. The west tunnel is already in the Clavaniev Zone, which has not presented any constructional problems so far. Instead of the forecast advance rate of 0.4 m per day, driving is still proceeding at an advance rate of around 1.5 m per day. In the northward drives, the average remaining distance to the Sedrun/Amsteg boundary is just under 125 m. The southward drive in the west tunnel is proceeding well. On the southward drive in the east tunnel, a further core bore to explore for waterbearing zones has been completed. The results of the core bores indicate that no major water ingresses or corresponding injection campaigns need be expected in the remainder of the drive.

Ventilation tunnel




Status of the Work in Faido
Assembly and modification of the east TBM is very nearly complete. Driving towards Sedrun will begin on July 6, 2007. On June 4, 2007, the backup train for installing the concrete base was joined to the front part of the TBM. On the west TBM, the new cutting head has been assembled and already mounted on the TBM. Installation of the invert with the backup train is proceeding.

East single-track tunnel north




Status of the Work in Bodio
Since the start of May, 2007, the reprofiling work is generally only being continued in the east tunnel. To date, 240 m out of a total of 380 m have been completed (= 63%). The work in the east tunnel is expected to be completed at the end of July 2007. While this work is being done, trains are passing through the west tunnel where for reasons of safety no further reprofiling work can be done. After the August holidays, reprofiling work for the remaining 340 m (of a total of 635 m) will be started in the west tunnel and is expected to the completed by the end of the year.

Tunnel face




Status of the Work in Gotthard South (Biasca)
On June 19, 2007, the cleaning-up work on the former hazardous waste disposal site at Giustizia was accepted as complete (Lots 623 + 623.1).

Overview of overground section at Biasca
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Old September 10th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #83
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Gotthard railway celebrates 125 years


The church at Wassen, a landmark on the Gotthard line, is draped in red for the 125th anniversary celebrations (Keystone)

Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey has marked the 125th anniversary of the Gotthard railway line, saying its inauguration “opened Switzerland to Europe”.

She was speaking in the southern town of Bellinzona in the presence of 200 guests from Switzerland and abroad at the beginning of four days of official celebrations.

“The opening of the Gotthard tunnel not only showed the world the know-how of Swiss engineers, but also permanently shaped the history and identity of Switzerland,” she said.

Local politicians north and south of the tunnel in cantons Uri and Ticino emphasised the importance of the 15 km-long tunnel, calling for it to be preserved after the opening of the new Gotthard base tunnel, foreseen in 2018.

The chief executive of the Swiss Federal Railways, Andreas Meyer, also cast an eye into the future, praising the idea of Ticino’s tourism president, Marco Solari, to hold the next Swiss national exhibition in the Gotthard region in 2020.

“We support this idea which very much makes us happy at the Swiss Federal Railways, even though its form still has to be discussed,” he said.


Not so optimistic

Historian and journalist Orazio Martinetti told swissinfo that he was not so optimistic about the preservation of the line.

“Maintenance of this line costs the Swiss Federal Railways about SFr50 million ($41.6 million) a year. Why should such a sum be invested in the future after the completion of the Gotthard base tunnel?

“In other words, the risk of seeing this line fall into disuse is a real one. You could hope to save it as a tourist attraction, as cantons Uri and Ticino would like. They want to see it as a Unesco cultural heritage site but I strongly doubt that it will become one.”

Martinetti said that on the technical level the Gotthard railway line remained a masterpiece of civil and rail engineering and the plans that were drawn at the time were stunning with their precision.

“In terms of history, the work reminds you of the savagery of the Wild West because of the tensions which broke out into violence several times during construction, like a workers’ uprising.”

More than 2,500 men were working at times on the tunnel. The conditions were so bad that they eventually downed tools in 1875. Several deaths were reported when police and a vigilante group of volunteers used force to end the strike.

Those attending the official celebrations on Thursday spared a thought for the 170 men who lost their lives constructing the tunnel, although modern research puts the figure at closer to 200.


Much to offer

Today, railway buffs and travellers in general discover that the main transalpine artery from north to south still has much to offer - bridges galore, steep climbs and descents with spirals, and a tunnel that has made a name for itself around the world.

The Gotthard line offers views that few other routes can rival. “The fantastic scenery makes it one of the most exciting journeys for any passenger,” London-based travel writer Anthony Lambert told swissinfo.

He is in two minds about the new 57-km long Gotthard base rail tunnel being built between Erstfeld and Bodio.

“My only slight reservation is that tourists come to Switzerland because you have the finest landscapes in Europe and they will miss many of the wonderful views of the Gotthard if they’re in a tunnel all the time,” he commented.

Historian Martinetti hopes that the old Gotthard line now being celebrated will still have recognition in the future.

“I think that history lessons in Switzerland should always have a place for the Gotthard railway,” he said.

swissinfo with agencies
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Old September 10th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #84
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Some news about the Ceneri Base Tunnel: http://snipurl.com/1qiow
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Old September 13th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #85
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Good news: The porta-alpina project is canceled:
http://www.news.ch/Porta+Alpina+eine...012/detail.htm
(only german)
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Old September 13th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #86
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It would've been a great train station, but it's better that it's canceled. I'm a bit surprised that it was the canton Graubünden that canceled it, I thought they were the biggest supporters of this project. But luckily most of the partners in the project are on one line right now.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 04:12 AM   #87
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A new milestone reached and the digging continues...


source: http://www.alptransit.ch

Press release of 17.10.2007

Gotthard Base Tunnel: Breakthrough in west tunnel between Sedrun and Amsteg

Squeezing Rock Conditions Successfully Overcome

After one final blast, at 11 am today tunnellers from Sedrun and Amsteg could shake hands. Nine months earlier than planned, breakthrough took place in the west tunnel of the Gotthard Base Tunnel between the Sedrun and Amsteg sections with a horizontal deviation of just under 15 cm and a vertical deviation of only 1 cm. The concept of deformable steel inserts that was developed specially for the squeezing rock conditions of the Tavetsch Intermediate Massif proved a total success.

In the squeezing rock conditions of the Tavetsch Intermediate Massif North near Sedrun, a constructionally difficult zone with a length of approximately 1,200 metres had to be crossed. To counter the immense rock pressure, new methods of tunnel construction were used at Sedrun. In the squeezing rock conditions of this section, excavated cavities tend to close again unless countermeasures are taken. To provide support for keeping the excavated cross-section open, deformable steel rings were inserted which gradually close under the pressure of the squeezing rock until their maximum supporting force is attained. Although this technology was already known from German coal mines, it had never before been applied in these dimensions in tunnel construction.
The selected concept with deformable steel inserts more than fulfilled expectations. Despite sometimes very large deformations, driving and securing work in the difficult geological conditions of the north drive progressed so well that breakthrough took place nine months ahead of schedule.
Driving in the Amsteg section was completed a long time ago. After each cutting a length of 10.7 km at outstanding advance rates, both tunnel boring machines reached their destination several months ahead of schedule: nine months in the east tunnel, six months in the west tunnel.
Of the total length of 153.5 km of the tunnel system being constructed under the Gotthard, on October 1, 2007, 105.1 km or 68.6 percent had been excavated.










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Old October 24th, 2007, 05:17 AM   #88
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Thanks for the update. I love following this development, it's such a cool project!
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Old November 7th, 2007, 06:24 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadeye Reloaded View Post
A new milestone reached and the digging continues...


source: http://www.alptransit.ch

Press release of 17.10.2007

Gotthard Base Tunnel: Breakthrough in west tunnel between Sedrun and Amsteg

Squeezing Rock Conditions Successfully Overcome

After one final blast, at 11 am today tunnellers from Sedrun and Amsteg could shake hands. Nine months earlier than planned, breakthrough took place in the west tunnel of the Gotthard Base Tunnel between the Sedrun and Amsteg sections with a horizontal deviation of just under 15 cm and a vertical deviation of only 1 cm.
Will this 9 month lead, which is very impressive, have any bearing on the completion date or is the project behind schedule in other areas?
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Old December 24th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #90
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A freight train exiting the old Gotthard Tunnel (15 km/9.3 miles) on the 23rd December 2007.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Quente View Post
Will this 9 month lead, which is very impressive, have any bearing on the completion date or is the project behind schedule in other areas?
Who knows?

The last breakthrough is scheduled between 2011 and 2012,
the opening in 2017.

Both dates are official, I don't know why they have scheduled
5 years between the last breakthrough and the opening.
Maybe because they expect delays with the boring.

Another pic taken yesterday: the TBM that will build the
intermediate access (2.5 km/1.5 mi)for the Ceneri Base Tunnel
(15 km/9.3 mi, but not very deep):

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Old December 25th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #91
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The Swiss are drilling so many holes in the Alps these days its gonna end up looking like, you know...
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #92
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On Friday 15/02/2008 the TBM started boring the second intermediate acces tunnel for the Ceneri base Tunnel.

This tunnel is 2,3 km/1.43 miles long, and not 2.5 as I have written before.

The TBM has a diameter of 9.7 m/32 ft, and has previously excavated some tunnels in Iceland with a diameter of 7.5 m/24.6 ft.

After 2.3 km excavated with this TBM a cavern will be built by drill&blast. This part of the work will last for 2 years.

Details here (English) or here (Italian).

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Old August 29th, 2008, 12:26 AM   #93
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It's been over 6 months since the last post on this project - any news?
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Old August 29th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #94
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Work is still underway. Tunnelling works will probably end in 2011.

http://www.alptransit.ch/pages/e/

Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri
As of August 1, 2008, of the total of 153.3 km of tunnels, galleries and passages of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, 115.2 km, or 75.1%, had been excavated. The total amount driven in July 2008 was 2060 m.

As of August 1, 2008, 1302 m, or 56%, of the 2.3-km-long window adit at the Sigirino intermediate heading had been excavated.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #95
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Where is all the dirt going? Is it being used on other parts of the line to raise it or are they making a new mountain somewhere?
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Old August 29th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #96
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the rock excavated from the mountain?

They have build some small islands in a lake, closed some rock quarries, used to manufacture concrete for the tunnel itself and other projects, used for the construction of the 11 km of railway outside the tunnel or stocked where possible.

The valley at page 24 of the PDF below has been filled with rock. The islands are shown at page 30.

When possible, rock has been transported with belt conveyors, trains and even boats instead of trucks.

See http://www.alptransit.ch/pages/img/p..._rail_link.pdf (PDF, 6 MB)
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Old August 30th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #97
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Five TBM are in use now. Below is what they have excavated and what they have still to do.


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Old September 4th, 2008, 04:26 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishcatdogbird View Post
Where is all the dirt going? Is it being used on other parts of the line to raise it or are they making a new mountain somewhere?
they made some artificial islands in the vierwaldstättersee. well, thats only a small part of all the excavated rock.

http://www.seeschuettung.ch/seiten/eroeffnung.html




huge pic of the whole lower valley ( you can even see the NEAT construction site in the back of the valley. and even my house :-D
http://www.ur.ch/dateimanager/sicht-urnersee-06.jpg
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Old September 4th, 2008, 06:38 AM   #99
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What's the latest on the fates of the 'old' lines that this and the other 'base' tunnels will replace?

Mike
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Old September 4th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
http://www.alptransit.ch/pages/e/

Status of Work on the Gotthard and Ceneri
As of August 1, 2008, of the total of 153.3 km of tunnels, galleries and passages of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, 115.2 km, or 75.1%, had been excavated. The total amount driven in July 2008 was 2060 m.

As of August 1, 2008, 1302 m, or 56%, of the 2.3-km-long window adit at the Sigirino intermediate heading had been excavated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Five TBM are in use now. Below is what they have excavated and what they have still to do.


Before I ask my potentially dumb question, let me just say it's 2:06 in the morning and my brain is semi-fried from working on some CSS coding for a website. (I also think I wiped out a few brain cells while listening to US Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's acceptance speech at the Republican convention!).

But I digress . . .

Is there a correlation between the percentages above and the bar graph below? While I see the connection between the Sigirino bar graph and the 56% quoted, I'm not seeing the 75.1% represented in the bar graph - what am I missing (besides a brain)?

Thanks - Kent
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