The new Gotthard Base Tunnel is set to open on 1 June 2016. As of this date, Kummler+Matter Ltd, an Alpiq Group company, will be responsible for the upkeep of the structure’s 50 Hz energy supply infrastructure. The contract signed in December 2015 between the operator, SBB, and Kummler+Matter is valid until 2018.
Kummler+Matter has been tasked with maintenance, troubleshooting and installation work on the 50 Hz energy supply infrastructure. The infrastructures to be managed by Kummler+Matter include:
- Ventilation systems (with ventilators, ducts, valves and control systems)
- Doors, track-changing doors and other gates (in cross passages, emergency stopping locations, multifunctional stations, access galleries and ventilation galleries)
- Raised floors (with supports, plates and cable ducts)
- Drainage systems (with mountain run-off conditioning systems, pumping stations and electromechanical components)
- Cable routing, cable systems and the 50 Hz power supply
- Fire alarm systems and lighting systems
- Loudspeaker systems and video surveillance systems
- Control systems, fault alarm systems and locking systems
- Gantry cranes and the lever mechanism at Sedrun (Graubünden)
- Medium-voltage systems and control cabinets
Up to 20 employees from Kummler+Matter will be employed to undertake these tasks on a full-time or part-time basis during the duration of the contract. The preventative system maintenance to be carried out by Kummler+Matter will help to ensure that the structure can be operated safely over the long term.
Challenging working conditions in the Base Tunnel
Following commencement of operation, maintenance work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel will only be carried out during maintenance work phases. During these phases, which are mostly scheduled for weekends and nights, the tunnel in question will be completely closed off for safety reasons.
Operations in the Base Tunnel entail exceptional working conditions. Temperatures are high, escape routes are long and the logistical burden is significant. For this reason, all employees involved must pass a “Tunnel Capability Test”, which also entails a two-week project-based course. The general requirements include excellent preparatory skills and discipline, but also a great deal of flexibility and expertise.
Kummler+Matter has exactly this expertise at its fingertips, in large part thanks to its involvement in the installation of the railway technology in the Gotthard Base Tunnel as part of Transtec Gotthard. The collaborative group was responsible for the areas of tracks, overhead lines, rail safety, train and tunnel management technology, telecommunications, power supply and logistics during the construction of this once-in-a-lifetime project.
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