After 33 years of having worked without major investments, structural and safety measures are required which have ensured the rail operations for the next 50 years, said the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn on Thursday to start the main work in Realp UR. Through the tunnel you drive the Glacier Express, regional and car trains.
Tunneling with obstacles
Planning for the renovation had started in 2008. As a first step, since 2014, installations have been renewed, a new ventilation center has been installed and the vault has been used. In this way, the tunnel water can be better collected and discharged in the future.
This had caused the tunnel builder to headache 45 years ago. After the start of the construction of the almost 15.4 km long train tunnel in the autumn of 1973 between Realp and Oberwald VS, the workers had to contend with water infiltration of up to 5000 liters per minute and crushed stones.
Instead of the estimated 74 million, when it was opened in June 1982 by the then Transport Minister Leon Schlumpf, the tunnel had swallowed 318 million francs. For the final construction and the railway technology it remained a year, so that only a minimal completion standard was achieved.
Because of this and because the norms and guidelines of that time no longer met today's safety requirements, it is now expected that 2025 will be refurbished. This in particular creates more options for self-rescue and external rescue, and the new ventilation system can create a smoke-free zone in case of fire.
Largest project of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
The most important tasks, however, are the renewal of the cable systems, the lane and the overhead line. Instead of a dirt road, the rails come to lie on solid ground.
Most of the work will be done at night or during regular closures scheduled for the fall. However, complete closures are required for twelve weeks at the end of the renovation. The 190 million franc project is the largest in the history of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. The money comes from the federal government and the cantons Wallis, Uri and Graubünden. (SDA)
Posted on 23.08.2018 | Updated at 12:50