A new high speed capacity railway tunnel is nearing completion, with the Gotthard Base Tunnel being the primary vein of the network. The two tunnels are each 35 miles in length, making it the longest railway tunnel in Switzerland.
Building the tunnel required excavation of nearly 30 million tonnes of granite. Fun fact – this quantity of rock would have filled a train of wagons stretching over 4,000 miles!
The tunnel excavation was performed using multiple tunneling methodologies based on the geologic conditions encountered, and serves as an excellent case history for evaluation of tunneling boring methods most applicable to a specific site condition. A CNN travel video and article highlight construction method and the tunnel in operation. – Mike Batten, DTC Civil Geotechnical Instructor