Two railway tunnels through the Alps
The Alps are a natural barrier across one of the most important transport axes in Europe. To enable quicker travel, while at the same time safeguarding the environment, tunnels are helping to shift the transportation of heavy goods and people from road to rail.
The Lötschberg Base Tunnel (34.6km) opened in 2007 and handles 110 trains a day on a single track.
Interoperability enables all licensed railway operators to make use of this heavily-used route – which is why Thales offered its ETCS Level 2 system. In addition to validation and integration tests for the ETCS system, Thales deployed interlocking systems and rail field elements that allow train speeds up to 250kmh.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel (57km) is due to open in 2016 and is the longest – and deepest rail tunnel in the world. The new link will handle 260 trains per day at speeds of up to 250kmh and it will shrink journey times between Zurich and Milan to less than three hours.