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Luzern, Switzerland

Schar R.,ENOTRAC AG | Steinmann N.,AlpTransit Gotthard AG | Wiederkehr R.,Poyry
eb - Elektrische Bahnen | Year: 2015

Nearly 25 years after the federal vote of the Swiss people to build the New Alpine Railway Lines, the Gotthard base tunnel will go into commercial service in December 2016. After such a long time of realization and so short before starting operation, there are enough findings to evaluate the process for such a huge project. In this paper, the authors try to show with a few examples how such a project can be led to success despite the large, partly unexpected and constantly changing challenges. Source

The two shafts located at Gotthard Base Tunnel in Sedrun - each 800 m deep - are serving during final tunnel operation as ventilation and as supply shafts. During construction phase of the main tunnels, each 57 km in length, they have been used as access and supply shafts for the construction of the central section of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. The central lot consists of the two single lane tunnels with 9 km length each and also of the multifunction area Sedrun. The preliminary works started in 1996 and were finished 2003 from when the first shaft was used as logistical access for the construction of the main tunnels. Until 2012 the whole operation of the tunnel construction as well as major parts of final fit out of the rail equipment has been carried out by using supply shaft 1. Shaft 2 which had been finished slightly later was mainly used as ventilation shaft and for transport of heavy and large sized equipment. The presentation describes the construction-technology and the requirements with regard to the needs of the construction phase. © 2013 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

Loew S.,ETH Zurich | Lutzenkirchen V.,Dr. von Moos AG | Hansmann J.,ETH Zurich | Ryf A.,AlpTransit Gotthard AG | Guntli P.,Sieber CassinaHandke AG
International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences | Year: 2015

The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) is a 57. km long and up to 2500 m deep railway tunnel constructed between 2000 and 2011 in the Central Alps of Switzerland. As drainage of fractured rocks by deep tunnels accompanied by significant decrease in groundwater pressure causes large-scale deformations even in hard crystalline rocks, a comprehensive surface deformation and tunnel inflow monitoring system has been established and operated for more than ten years. This paper presents the results from this monitoring system and explains the observed hydro-mechanically coupled and transient rock mass behavior based on detailed assessments of geological, geomechanical and hydrogeological conditions and conceptual continuum models. The collected data show that significant tunnel-drainage induced surface deformations also develop in rock masses with moderate hydraulic conductivity (2E-9 m/s) and small cumulative tunnel inflows (a few liters per second per kilometer). In this case deformations are caused by pore pressure reductions and rock mass deformations around the draining tunnel at depth, and not by groundwater table elevation changes. The pattern of surface settlements observed along the tunnel axis is very irregular (up to 11. cm in 2013) and strongly influenced by hectometer scale hydro-mechanical heterogeneities of steeply dipping geological units striking at large angle to the tunnel axes. At the depth of the studied tunnel section (1500-2500 m) about 50% of the surface settlements can be recorded. The surface settlements are connected to horizontal displacements and strains directed towards the tunnel axes or advancing tunnel face. The resulting horizontal displacement at the Nalps dam has reached about 65 mm in 2013. Compressive strains in the order of 20-50 microstrain are typically observed within a corridor of about 1 to 1.5 km width. Outside the reversal point of the settlement trough, extensile strains of similar magnitude develop. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Simoni R.,AlpTransit Gotthard AG
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering | Year: 2014

When it opens in 2016 the 57 km long Gotthard base tunnel under the Swiss Alps will be the world’s longest. Together with the 15 km Ceneri base tunnel to the south, which will open 3 years later, it will provide a vritually flat railway across Switzerland. The tunnels aim to reduce significantly the amount of envrionmentally damaging lorry traffic crossing the country between Germany and Italy as well as cut north–south passenger train journeys by 1·5 h. This paper reports on the backround to the £7 billion project, describes the design and construction of the twin-bore tunnel and its sophisticated railway systems, and summarises lessons learned from over 10 years of tunnelling in hard rock up to 2·5 km underground. © ICE Publishing: All rights reserved. Source

Simoni R.,AlpTransit Gotthard AG
Beton- und Stahlbetonbau | Year: 2013

With construction of the new Gotthard Rail Link, Switzerland is creating transport history. The two base tunnels under the Gotthard and Ceneri are not only pioneering technical achievements, they also symbolise the materialisation of a nation's will. As long ago as 1992, Switzerland's voters authorised the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) under the Gotthard and Lötschberg. In a further referendum in 1998, they created the Public Transport Finance Fund (FinöV) to secure the financing of major Swiss railway projects. The Gotthard Base Tunnel, at 57 km the world's longest railway tunnel, will go into operation in 2016. In 2019, the flat route through the Alps is scheduled to be completed with the Ceneri Base Tunnel. This will restore the competitiveness of rail over road for transalpine transport. With the shorter and flatter route, productivity in goods traffic can be significantly increased. Rail passengers benefit from substantial time gains. Also with the NRLA, Switzerland integrates itself into the European high-speed network. Copyright © 2013 Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin. Source

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