Gotthard premiere: today, August 30, 2013, the first trip was made through the entire Gotthard Base Tunnel from Bodio to Erstfeld. Together with the main contractors involved in constructing the tunnel as well as project planners and the railway systems consortium, AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. as tunnel constructor took media representatives on a trip through the world's longest tunnel. They travelled the 57-kilometres-long route by train, in buses and on foot. Until the tunnel is ready for operation and can be handed over to the Swiss Federal Government will take about another 1000 days.
It took six hours for the first trip from Bodio to Erstfeld. Travel through the world's longest railway tunnel is still difficult because of the many construction sites. In 2016 trains will cover the same route in around 20 minutes.
The responsible people provided information about the current status of work on the individual sections. In autumn 2013 the final construction work will be completed. Installation of the railway systems is progressing according to plan.
The countdown for AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. has begun.
At the end of August, 55 % of the railway infrastructure systems in the Gotthard Base Tunnel had been installed. From the end of 2013 on the 16-kilometres-long Bodio West section, test runs will take place at speeds of up to 220 km/h. The test runs will allow the complex interplay of all the railway systems in the Gotthard Base Tunnel to be tested. Renzo Simoni, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, informed the visitors that the work is on schedule: "For us, today, the countdown begins: in 1000 days we must hand over the completely finished tunnel to the Federal Government and Swiss Federal Railways for trial operation."
Whereas construction work on the Gotthard will soon be complete, driving work on the Ceneri Base Tunnel is still proceeding a full speed. Of the around 40-kilometres-long tunnel system, 65 percent has been excavated. AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. is confident that the Ceneri Base Tunnel will be ready for operation with scheduled train services in 2019.