The premiere was last Friday, 30 August 2013, when a group travelled all the way through the Gotthard Base Tunnel from Bodio to Erstfeld for the first time. Together with the contractors involved in the building of the tunnel and installation of the railway systems – including Alpiq – tunnel constructor AlpTransit Gotthard took representatives of the media on a trip through the longest railway tunnel in the world.
The journey took six hours. Because of the many construction sites, travel through the tunnel is still difficult. The journalists and representatives of the construction companies covered the 57 kilometres by train, bus and on foot. In 2016, the trains will take around 20 minutes. For the tunnel to be fully operational and ready for handing over to the Swiss Federal Government, it will take another 1000 days.
Installation of the railway systems is on schedule
Those responsible, including Marco Hirzel, Managing Director of Alpiq Infra AG, provided information on the current state of work on the individual sections. Alpiq has been closely involved in this epic feat of engineering: while Transtec Gotthard is responsible as general contractor for the installation of the railway systems in the tunnel, Alpiq InTec AG is the lead partner.
Marco Hirzel expressed his satisfaction with the progress being made: "Currently 55 per cent of the railway systems are in place in the Gotthard Base Tunnel, and the work will be completed in May 2016." As well as the installation of tracks, railway power systems and catenaries, the railway systems contract awarded to Transtec Gotthard includes responsibility for all wireless, fuse and automation systems, all electrical systems, cables, telecommunications installations and handrails. "We are responsible for turning the basic tunnel into a fully equipped railway tunnel ready for commercial operation with scheduled rail services," said Marco Hirzel.