The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the most important piece of the new high-speed rail network in Switzerland (NRLA, the New Rail Link through the Alps) which will start operating in 2015 and will be used both for transporting passengers and goods that, allowing it to relieve the heavy traffic on highways already congested by international transport. The new route will connect Zurich to Milan in 2 hours and 30 minutes, compared to 3 hours and 40 current.

The 57 km long tunnel in this gallery are a double world record and allow you to trace a direct path into the mountain group of the Gotthard and Lukmanier, between the cities of Sedrun and Faido, an idea born from the postwar period and now you are being realized.

Work began in 1996 by the consortium AlpTransit, after decades of planning that have opted for a structure with galleries running parallel distance of 40 meters from each other, connected by a network of tunnels safe and interchange stations and d ' Emergency groundwater.

The cost of the work, about 30 billion francs, is funded by a number of extraordinary taxes on fuel, VAT and tax on the transit of heavy vehicles, as determined following several national referendums. In this way, all the resources are guaranteed without having to resort to forms of borrowing for the community.

The tunnel excavation, carried out simultaneously by the two fronts of Sedrun and Faido, was conducted with various techniques, depending on the geological crossed: in the rocky tougher Sedrun has primarily used the explosive side of Faido Instead he worked with the help of large milling excavators (Tunnel Boring Machine, TBM). To date, the excavation is almost finished and processes mainly concern the construction of infrastructures in the tunnels.

The large amount of excavated material generated by the advancement of the work, about 13 million cubic meters for a total of 24 million tons, were disposed through various projects. A part has been and will be further used for mixing the concrete necessary for the realization of the docks of the railway, another was used to fill in some old abandoned quarries in the area of construction or has been sold to companies in need of inert material from construction and final part was transported to the mouth of the river Reuss in the lake of Uri, which have been reshaped and then re-naturalized and the profile of the coast and the mouth of the river, also creating some artificial islands that have now become a large public park.


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