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Old November 3rd, 2015, 11:10 PM   #1021
StuZealand
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In WebCam 1 (when it's daytime in Switzerland), there's an ugly area to the left of the tunnel portals. Are they planning to landscape this before the official opening?
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Old November 11th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #1022
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The ICE-S reached 275 km/h a few days ago. Here it is seen in the triple track section (the ICE-S stands on the track for northbound freight trains waiting to be overtaken, southbound freight trains will instead run through Biasca).

Source: http://www.sguggiari.ch/1_archivio_n...otthard-biasca

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Old November 12th, 2015, 11:23 PM   #1023
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What is the Swiss vmax record?
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Old November 13th, 2015, 07:50 PM   #1024
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Might have been by this train few days ago. Vmax for regular traffic is 200 km/h on Bern-Olten stretch and testing is usually 10% above the commercial speed.
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Old November 14th, 2015, 08:58 PM   #1025
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282 km/h in the LBT during the testing phase, around Spring 2007. The train was the same ICE-S.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 04:30 AM   #1026
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With all the terrorist shit going on in Europe presently, I hope the Swiss have appropriate security measures in place to deter/prevent any attacks on the GBT and its opening ceremony.

I realise that Switzerland isn't as high a target as some other European countries, but that's no reason for any complacency.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 11:38 AM   #1027
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I think there is no need for hysteria.

Looking forward to the new possibilities this amazing tunnel will bring.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 02:14 AM   #1028
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuZealand View Post
I realise that Switzerland isn't as high a target as some other European countries, but that's no reason for any complacency.
I seriously doubt it's even remotely on their (Islamic fundamentalists) radar! Terrorist attacks typically involve weeks of planning, which means that their targets are calculated and deliberate. There must be a motive.
To the best of my knowledge, going back to the first publicised terrorist attack, on the USS Cole while refueling in Yemen, in 2000, their targets have been Western countries that have troops in the Middle East. Though the attack on the Kenyan university killing 147 people earlier this year was strange given its not part of NATO.

Switzerland has no troops in the Middle East so I doubt they (Islamic fundamentalists) have the slightest interest in it.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 11:04 AM   #1029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callagg2 View Post
To the best of my knowledge, going back to the first publicised terrorist attack, on the USS Cole while refueling in Yemen, in 2000, their targets have been Western countries that have troops in the Middle East.
So the 1993 World Trade Center truck bomb doesn't count?

Or the 1992 Yemen hotel bombings against the US Marines?

Or the 1991 plot in Toronto against Indian targets?


It's been going on a lot longer than 2000 - since at least the first Gulf war.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 11:18 AM   #1030
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Off topic guys. Back to Gotthard Base Tunnel.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 11:47 AM   #1031
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Press release on GBT test runs

(Italian only.)

Some very cool video footage of what it looks like inside the completed tunnel.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 11:58 AM   #1032
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuZealand View Post
With all the terrorist shit going on in Europe presently, I hope the Swiss have appropriate security measures in place to deter/prevent any attacks on the GBT and its opening ceremony.

I realise that Switzerland isn't as high a target as some other European countries, but that's no reason for any complacency.
The appropriate measure is to not let you scare in to doing the terrorists work for them....

Interestingly SBB is looking at taking out terrorism insurance on their stations. How Swiss...
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Old November 22nd, 2015, 02:32 PM   #1033
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Work is going on to enlarge existing tunnels. Here the progress for the one in Coldrerio: https://map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&...309.75&zoom=12 (photos taken on Saturday 14.11.2015)

The higher clearance has been obtained by building a new tunnel around the 1870s one, however as some works are needed under the tracks and as the old tunnel needed to be demolished, the line was closed for two consecutive weekends in November 2015 (including this one).

The yellow and white machines are used to remove the debris. The yellow one loads them on the yellow wagon behind it, which then moves them to the successive wagon, and so on. This is useful when side loading is impossible, like inside single track tunnels, but also here it is convenient. The white machine loads a small road-rail dumper as on that side of the tunnel there aren't much debris for now (one track has been still in use outside these two weekends, unlike the other that has been dismantled weeks ago). I suppose in the next days the situation will be inverted with the closure of the track now in operation.



These wagons can run both on rail wheels and on continous tracks ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_track ), and have a diesel generator so they can move alone at very slow speed.



Here the temporary ramp where they exit and enter the track. On the left you can see the rail axle which has been dismantled from the yellow loading machine.

To avoid a too long single track section, on the other side of the tunnel a temporary switch has been built, with modifications to the signalling system, however this was not easily photographable (at least on my available time).



The right track has been covered, but it is still in place. The worker near the yellow wagon was starting the belt conveyor to move the debris to the successive wagon.



The roof of the new tunnel, with the white bars to avoid collapsing. Note that the trackbed never seen the daylight since the 1870s, as they built the new tunnel roof before demolishing the old one. The old tunnel had been very likely built as cut&cover, too.



Short tunnel, but big works. The hill has disappeared, but the local road above has never been closed for too long periods. I'm standing on another bridge looking south. I suppose the hill will be rebuilt and be given a more natural appearance.

Existing tunnels are being enlarged "only" to P/C 80 as it is easier and cheaper, however new tunnels are being built at P/C 99, which is 20 cm higher. Beside the base tunnels and this one, a new P/C 99 tunnel is being built to replace the existing Bözberg tunnel (a new 2.5 km bore is being built, with the smaller existing one recycled as safety tunnel).



Disruptions to rail traffic will continue until 2020. And today, beside the closure of the Gotthardbahn to allow works on this tunnel, there is another interruption due to a landslide near Gurtnellen. Passengers are transported by bus twice, between Flüelen and Göschenen and between Mendrisio and Chiasso. Sadly, SBB and Trenitalia did not opted to divert EuroCity trains via the Bellinzona-Luino-Gallarate line, which would have avoided many passengers (those not going to/from Lugano, Chiasso, Como and Monza, which cannot be reached via the alternate line) at least one transhipment.
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Old November 22nd, 2015, 03:12 PM   #1034
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Thanks Cocco for the detailed report!
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Old November 23rd, 2015, 07:20 AM   #1035
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Wait, if you're already tearing the hill away and replacing it to enlarge your tunnel, wouldn't the cost difference between PC 80 and PC 99 be marginal? I can see a case for that being an issue if you have to undercut the roadbed to enlarge your tunnel, but with works like Coldrerio...not so much.
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Old November 23rd, 2015, 08:30 AM   #1036
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In this case it looks like they could just have replaced the whole tunnel with a cut anyway...
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Old November 23rd, 2015, 11:37 PM   #1037
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It wasn't done likely for aesthetic reasons, I suppose.

Apparently I wasn't clear, as this new tunnel is PC 99, like the base tunnels (and the 4 short tunnels built near the big ones), the Bözberg tunnel, and the two tunnels just south of Bellinzona* that will be built in the next decade. All existing tunnels are rebuilt to the equivalent** of PC 80 (now they are around PC 60).

* these will be two ~300 + ~40 m long single track tunnels built as PC 99 to carry a third track, while the existing double track tunnels will become "only" PC 80.

** with "PC 80" I mean a loading gauge allowing a certain type of intermodal trains. European loading gauge definitions are much more complicated, and vary by state, for instance the Swiss definition of the loading gauge of the base tunnels is EBV 4, which allow intermodal trains categorized as PC 99 but it is not equal to their shape. A line in Italy or Germany might allow PC 99 trains, too, but not have a loading gauge of the shape of EBV 4
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Old November 23rd, 2015, 11:58 PM   #1038
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How many of these short tunnels need to be raised to allow for the higher loading gauge?

And are they all on the line heading south to the Italian border?
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Old November 24th, 2015, 12:20 AM   #1039
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The Bözberg tunnel (and a nearby short one) is here: https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=it&to...1345.00&zoom=7 (as said, a new bore will be built)

Another is the double track section of this Y-shaped tunnel near Brunnen: https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=it&to...149.50&zoom=11

All other tunnels to be enlarged are in Ticino. This because the many tunnels south of Brunnen -and some in Ticino- are single track, and need much smaller work. I don't have details, but this is because single track tunnels have a different shape than double track tunnels: they are more elliptical, rather than circular, and are higher. Historically, rail vehicles have had a round roof, while containers and semitrailers are flat. So in most tunnels the height in the centre is already quite enough, but not on the corners: http://www.thecadinsider.com/2013/10...nel-study.html

There is around a dozen of double track tunnels to be enlarged in Ticino (plus the one in Brunnen), for a total of around 5 km, but these are on heavily used sections (the tunnels south of Bellinzona have around 400 train movements a day, which will have to be handled on a single track during works!).

There is a 7+ km tunnel just south of the border in Chiasso ( https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=it&to...5125.00&zoom=8 ), but I think that's already big enough (it was built in the 1980s). Plus two tunnels from there to Milan which are being enlarged right now.
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Old November 24th, 2015, 12:28 AM   #1040
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Anyway, going over P/C 80 makes no sense because south of Chiasso there's nothing more than that
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