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Old June 1st, 2015, 08:48 PM   #1001
Luganese1980
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1/6/2015 Countdown running: Exactly a year to the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel

In the presence of SBB and AlpTransit Gotthard CEOs, Andreas Meyer and Renzo Simoni, and representatives of the governments of the cantons of Uri and Ticino, Doris Leuthard started the countdown clock for the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel. The logo for the festivities , which will carry the motto ’Gottardo 2016’, was also unveiled. The logo will be displayed on one passenger and one freight locomotive and will be seen throughout Switzerland and neighbouring countries in the run-up to the opening of the tunnel. The two locomotives have been named after the towns at each end of the tunnel: Erstfeld and Biasca. They were christened by Heidi Z’Graggen, President of Uri Cantonal Council, and by Claudio Zali, member of the Ticino Cantonal Council.

Work still to be done

In her speech, transport minister Doris Leuthard referred to the fact that the Gotthard base tunnel is a visible symbol of Switzerland’s innovative ability, precision and reliability. She said that Switzerland should be proud of this immense project. However, there is still plenty of work to be done before the tunnel can enter into operation. Renzo Simoni, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard, emphasised that the work was still on track. The final rail components will be fitted by October of this year when testing will begin. Over 3000 test runs will be conducted to ensure that the base tunnel can operate safely and smoothly. The SBB has been making the necessary preparations to assume its role as tunnel operator for some time. On 1 June 2016, it will take over the Gotthard base tunnel from AlpTransit Gotthard AG. After several months of trial operation, it will bring the tunnel into scheduled operation on 11 December 2016. From then on, customers will benefit from increased capacity and improved services in goods transport and a gradual reduction in journey times.

Gottardo 2016
Regular events will be held as part of the Gottardo 2016 campaign in the run-up to the official opening. Official "TV Commercial": The official state occasion to mark the opening of the tunnel will take place on 1 June 2016. Guests at either end of the tunnel will be able to see two trains set off on their maiden journeys from the north and the south. Members of the public will have the chance to travel on the two trains, as a gesture of gratitude to the Swiss people. It is thanks to their votes at the ballot box that the construction and financing of the Gotthard base tunnel as part of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) was possible. A draw will be held in January 2016 to allocate seats on the trains. The focus will also be on the Swiss people at public events on 4 and 5 June. On these two days, it will be possible for the general public to travel through the new tunnel for the first time. A programme of interesting supporting events will take place in Erstfeld and in the Pollegio/Biasca area. Ticket sales will begin online in April 2016 at www.gottardo2016.ch and at other sales points.

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Last edited by Luganese1980; June 1st, 2015 at 10:36 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 12:13 AM   #1002
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http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...=533071&nseq=2
Georg Trüb, June 01, 2015, Luzern
Today, it is just one year or 365 days till the Gotthard base tunnel will be inaugurated. During a media presentation in Lucerne, the locomotive Re 460 098 was baptized "Biasca" and Re 420 268 "Erstfeld", the names of the places of both portals.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 11:17 PM   #1003
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The CBT migh open one year later in December 2020 because of delays incurred during the tendering process of tracks and railway equipments. 1085 m are left in the eastern tube, 1160 in the western tube.

It took 10 years in the 1870s to bore and open the 15 km Gotthard tunnel, it will take 5 years to lay tracks and equipments in a 2010s tunnel of similar length...

https://www.alptransit.ch/it/stampa/...dicembre-2020/

********************

A draft of the 2017 timetable (the one that starts with the full opening on December 2016) has been published on http://www.progetto-orario.ch/filead...e_Zugersee.pdf (see http://www.progetto-orario.ch/ for more details on the planned 2016 and 2017 Swiss timetables).

Only the section Zürich-Erstfeld is shown, so timings south of the GBT aren't available to the public yet.

I post here a summary of departures and arrivals in Zürich HB: Ticino means a train to/from Lugano or Chiasso, Milano-Italia an EuroCity to Milan or beyond. A dash means that there is no train at this hour (I put it to clearly show that there is a hole in the regular interval timetable).

In brief, from Zürich we will have:
* even hours, .05 IR Erstfeld + .32 some peak hours trains (not all even hours)
* odd hours, .05 EC to Italy + .32 IC to Ticino

InterRegios to Erstfeld give a connection to InterCitys Basel-Luzern-Lugano, and viceversa Zürich-Ticino-Milano trains give connections to local trains to Erstfeld. So there will almost be a train every 30 minutes to Lugano, although with some holes in the timetable.

Some InterCitys might also stop in Flüelen: northbound at 6.41 and 18.48, southbound at 11.12 and 21.12.

Departures from Zürich HB:
06.05 EC Milano-Italia
06.32 -
07.05 EC Milano-Italia
07.32 IC Ticino
08.05 IC Ticino
08.32 IC Ticino (yet to be confirmed)
09.05 EC Milano-Italia
09.32 IC Ticino
10.05 IR Erstfeld
10.32 IC Ticino (yet to be confirmed)
11.05 EC Milano-Italia
11.32 IC Ticino
12.05 IR Erstfeld
12.32 -
13.05 EC Milano-Italia
13.32 IC Ticino
14.05 IR Erstfeld
14.32 -
15.05 EC Milano-Italia
15.32 IC Ticino
16.05 IR Erstfeld
16.32 -
17.05 EC Milano-Italia
17.32 IC Ticino
18.05 IR Erstfeld
18.32 RE Arth Goldau
19.05 EC Milano-Italia
19.32 IC Ticino
20.05 IR Erstfeld
20.32 -
21.05 IC Ticino
21.32 -
22.05 IR Erstfeld
22.32 -
23.05 IR Arth Goldau

Arrivals in Zürich HB:
06.55 IR Erstfeld
07.28 -
07.55 IC Ticino
08.30 RE Arth Goldau
08.55 IC Ticino
09.28 -
09.55 IR Erstfeld
10.28 IC Ticino
10.55 EC Milano-Italia
11.28 -
11.55 IR Erstfeld
12.28 IC Ticino
12.55 EC Milano-Italia
13.28 -
13.55 IR Erstfeld
14.28 IC Ticino
14.55 EC Milano-Italia
15.28 -
15.55 IR Erstfeld
16.28 IC Ticino
16.55 EC Milano-Italia
17.28 IC Ticino (yet to be confirmed)
17.55 IR Erstfeld
18.28 IC Ticino
18.55 EC Milano-Italia
19.28 IC Ticino (yet to be confirmed)
19.55 IR Erstfeld
20.28 IC Ticino
20.55 EC Milano-Italia
21.28 -
21.55 EC?
22.28 IC Ticino
22.55 EC Milano-Italia
23.28 -
23.55 IR Erstfeld
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Old June 16th, 2015, 12:06 PM   #1004
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It may not matter that the CBT wasn't excavated any further from the Vigana portals. If you look at all the work going on in front of the portal entrance, there's still a lot of work to be done before any track laying can occur from the south.

I don't know which will occur first: the start of track laying from Vigana, or the Sigirino - Vigana breakthroughs. Of course, after the two breakthroughs, there is still tunnel lining to be finished before any track laying can be done.
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Old June 24th, 2015, 10:57 PM   #1005
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All track laying will take place from the north, to do that they use very long trains. A first train carries rails and sleepers, which are unloaded with a special portal crane just in front of the train. Tracks are assembled, then a second train pours concrete on the floor to fix the track in place.

See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHyd997fdH4

These trains need to be loaded and maintained, but there is simply no space near the southern portal to do that, so they would have to travel backwards for kilometres from a worksite that could be easily placed only near the northern portal or near Chiasso, 25 km away. It is simpler, and not much slower, to just lay tracks from the north. Beside that, a work train laying the track near the southern portal would block at least one track of the main line for hours each time it is used.

What I find...sad is that this delay is caused only by bureaucracy, not by technical difficulties.

Note that on the GBT track was laid from both sides (but for 2/3 of the length from the northern side), and as far I know the tracks in the LBT were laid only from the south (two times 13 km in the southern double track section, then a 22 km single track in the eastern tube only).
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Old June 24th, 2015, 11:05 PM   #1006
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Sorry, typo on my part. I know all the CBT track laying will be done from the north.

Incidentally, I see that the CBT excavation is about to cross into Sant'Antonio. Looks like it could be very close to breakthrough by the end of 2015.

Last edited by StuZealand; June 24th, 2015 at 11:39 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2015, 08:43 PM   #1007
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ETCS Level 2 has been activated on the 19 km section between Brunnen and Erstfeld, replacing (and not in addition) the old national signalling system. There are no more light signals on this section (well, they are phisically still in place, but are covered and not usable).

This means that every motor vehicle must be equipped with ETCS L2 to run on the Gotthard.

It is likely, but I'm not sure, that a part of the new section of line built to link the GBT has been activated. This has replaced, or will replace, a short section of the existing line (with no stations in between).

Quote:
Second track for Lötschberg Base Tunnel
Monday, August 17, 2015

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=537
Quote:
Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
The news that I've been waiting for a long time - from Rail Journal:
They are just preparing the project of the second track, but the actual works are not financed yet (they might be within some years). No work will start before 2025 at the earliest, but I suspect 2030 is more likely.
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Old August 19th, 2015, 12:26 AM   #1008
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Not many things are late in Switzerland, but even fewer happen fast
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Old August 19th, 2015, 01:22 AM   #1009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Not many things are late in Switzerland, but even fewer happen fast
Partly right, partly wrong. The actual building of stuff happens pretty fast, but yes, a lot of time passes from the moment of planning until the opening. One reason for this is the fact that big projects are planned specifically to implement a new national timetable, and if one line within that project takes eight years anyway, it makes no sense to rush the others. We already know the timetable ten years from now! (PDF)
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Old August 20th, 2015, 06:38 PM   #1010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
They are just preparing the project of the second track, but the actual works are not financed yet (they might be within some years). No work will start before 2025 at the earliest, but I suspect 2030 is more likely.
Interesting. I take it this is purely to increase capacity? When they started drilling the tunnel the authorities had plans for an eventual extension of the second track (if I remember well it currently covers only 1/3 of the length). At the same time they stressed that the public shouldn't get its hopes up for a faster connection between Bern and central Vallis, because there's also a bottleneck around Frutigen that won't pop just because the tunnel gains greater capacity. Is this correctly understood? Does someone know more?
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Old August 20th, 2015, 10:02 PM   #1011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
Interesting. I take it this is purely to increase capacity? When they started drilling the tunnel the authorities had plans for an eventual extension of the second track (if I remember well it currently covers only 1/3 of the length). At the same time they stressed that the public shouldn't get its hopes up for a faster connection between Bern and central Vallis, because there's also a bottleneck around Frutigen that won't pop just because the tunnel gains greater capacity. Is this correctly understood? Does someone know more?
not capacity in summary, but they want to increase public transport

actual this single tube tunnel is used in a block mode, if you want additional public trains than they should be shifted to the existiing ones, but now in this time slots the tunnel is used in the other direction and increasing public transport is only possible with a second tube that to every time trains can run in both directions which is important for public transport
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Old August 26th, 2015, 02:43 AM   #1012
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The CBT is very close to complete excavation now. Only two more cross passages to go:
North bound progress

A few new photos from the last GBT media conference:
Media conference

And finally, there's another open day at the Sigirino adit in a month's time.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #1013
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http://uk.businessinsider.com/worlds...#ixzz3k18JdmWA
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Old September 7th, 2015, 03:22 AM   #1014
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one nice pic

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/27809151
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Old September 26th, 2015, 06:24 AM   #1015
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Who's off to the open day at Sigirino?
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Old September 28th, 2015, 11:12 PM   #1016
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I have been there, but didn't take any new photo. The open-air worksite is almost identical to my last visit, while it wasn't possible to wander underground - just travelling by bus from Sigirino to Vezia in the CBT returning via the motorway.

I shoot some videos of that trip, but I would need to join them together to make a longer film (any hint of a free software that can join separate video files?).

Meanwhile, mid-August the future northbound Erstfeld-Altdorf track on the new section passing near the northern portal has been activated, but it is being used by southbound trains. Northbound trains still use one track of the old railway section which will be dismantled later, when the new southbound track will open. The old southbound track with the overhead wires is still in place but has been truncated, so it is unusable.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 10:30 AM   #1017
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They should have the next open day at Camorino, as there'd be more to see and do.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 09:42 AM   #1018
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Video:

Changing tunnels at the Sedrun multi function station
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Old October 16th, 2015, 10:45 PM   #1019
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This month full testing has started. 5.000 trips up to at least 275 km/h (maximum design speed of 250 km/h + 10% safety margin) are planned until 31.5.2016.

The photos in the last link show one test train made by a Re 460 locomotive, three InterCity coaches (including a driving trailer) and a special diagnostic coach, part of a fleet of differently equipped service vehicles converted from various types of regular passenger coaches. Later a German ICE-S train will be used as Switzerland does not have any specially equipped HST train. The ICE-S is the protoype of ICE-1 trains, not a regular set converted as a testing train. It runs with two locomotives and one or more intermediate test coaches.

Tests in 2013: (at that time, only 13 km of the south-western tube section were finished and tested)

A recent video (this month):

Italian: https://www.alptransit.ch/it/stampa/...-san-gottardo/

German: https://www.alptransit.ch/de/medien/...d-basistunnel/

Some photos. http://www.cdt.ch/svizzera/cronaca/1...to-al-gottardo (the text is based on ATG's press release)
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Old November 3rd, 2015, 10:53 PM   #1020
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Here is a list of test runs planned until the end of the year:

https://www.alptransit.ch/fileadmin/...10_15-0051.pdf

Bezeichnung = type of test
von...bis = from...until
Rollmaterial = type of train

The main types of trains are:

Re 460 Pendelzug: InterCity train (shortened than the norm and maybe including a test coach)
LRZ SBB: rescue train (here used as a test, but usually for firefighters, tow broken trains, etc)
Re 484: freight locomotive(s)
ICE-S: German high speed test train
Güterzug: freight train
Then other kinds of trains will follow, all of them special runs (no commercial train until February at least).

Some photos: https://www.alptransit.ch/it/foto/ga...dienkonferenz/
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Last edited by Coccodrillo; November 3rd, 2015 at 11:30 PM.
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