The Gotthard Base Tunnel

The Gotthard Base Tunnel

19 October 2017 Off By The Engineering Community


The Gotthard Base Tunnel

At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) is the longest railway tunnel in the world and represents the centrepiece of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA).

It embodies Swiss values such as innovation, precision and reliability.

  • 2 Multifunction stations with water points for fire-fighting and rescue trains
  • 4 Emergency stop stations, two per tunnel tube
  • 13 Kilometres of new overground line
  • 20 A journey through the Gotthard Base Tunnel by passenger train takes less than 20 minutes
  • 43 Points
  • 50 Passenger trains travel through the tunnel each day
  • 57 Kilometres is the length of the two parallel tunnel tubes
  • 153 Kilometres of contact line
  • 178 Cross-passages provide a safe space and a connection to the parallel tunnel tube every 325 metres
  • 308 Kilometres of track
  • 360 Axle counters
  • 500 Kilometres of drainpipes
  • 900 ETCS beacons
  • 7,200 Lights
  • 1,900 Electrical cabinets

The Gotthard Base Tunnel provides a quicker, more reliable link between north and south for both people and goods. SBB is proud to be operating the longest railway tunnel in the world.

Faster, more frequent and more convenient services as well as new and modernised rolling stock will considerably increase the transport quality on the north-south axis. Customers will also benefit from more seats.

The improvements will take effect gradually from the end of 2016 and provide their full benefit from the end of 2020. At the same time, SBB will actively market the Gotthard region and the mountain route.

In total, SBB expects demand for passenger services to almost double by 2025, with passenger numbers increasing from the current figure of 9,000 people to approximately 15,000 people per day. More new trains will be provided in order to meet this increase in passenger demand.

When it comes to freight traffic, the new Gotthard tunnel will bring increased capacity, faster services and greater reliability. SBB Cargo customers will receive efficient, congestion-free and environmentally friendly solutions for their logistics requirements.

For international transit traffic, the new Gotthard Base Tunnel marks the first major step towards a flat-rail route through the Alps. With the Ceneri Base Tunnel and the 4-metre corridor, rail will become significantly more competitive on the north-south axis.