NRLA Gotthard axis – annual film 2010: New film documents eventful construction year

Final breakthrough and start of installation of the railway systems in the Gotthard Base Tunnel, driving at all construction sites of the Ceneri Base Tunnel: these were important milestones attained by the tunnel constructors on the Gotthard axis of the NRLA in 2010. A film by AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. documents the progress of construction with impressive scenes.

Switzerland's biggest-ever construction project is making good progress. This is evidenced by the latest annual film from AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd., which in around 30 minutes illustrates the most important work steps of 2010. The film was presented to the public at a premiere in Lucerne on April 13, 2011.

Constructional highlights 2010
Throughout 2010, the film team captured the action on the AlpTransit construction sites in images and sound. Highlights in the Gotthard Base Tunnel were driving, and the widely acclaimed final breakthrough, in the east tube between Faido and Sedrun in October 2010. The film also shows how in the spring in the west tube at Faido the tunnel boring machine was freed from a fault zone and in the west tube at Bodio the permanent trackbed and first railway systems were already installed. The film also shows the challenging crossing of the Ceneri Base Tunnel under the A2 motorway near the north portal at Vigana. Blast-driving from the intermediate heading at Sigirino and to the north from the south portal at Vezia are also shown.

Annual film in three languages
The AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. annual film for 2010 is now available in three language versions (German, Italian, English). The DVD, which costs CHF 30, can be ordered on the Internet ( or purchased directly at the AlpTransit information centres in Erstfeld, Sedrun and Pollegio, or at the headquarters of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. in Lucerne. The DVD is also available at the RailShop in Lucerne railway station.

Status of work as at mid-April 2011
Also at the film premiere, Renzo Simoni, Chief Executive Officer of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd., presented up-to-date information on the current status of work on the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels as follows:

Gotthard Base Tunnel

  • Along the Altdorf-Rynächt overground approach line, work continues on various constructions such as underpasses, bridges and retaining walls. Extensive preparatory work is also in progress for installation of the railway systems (north), which will start in July 2011. At Rynächt, an installations site is being erected; a railway systems building is being constructed close to the portal.
  • Concrete lining of the tubes in the Erstfeld section is complete. At the end of 2010, the east cut-and-cover tunnel had been almost completely joined to the mined portal, while in the west cut-and-cover tunnel the remaining distance was just under 100 metres.
  • The Amsteg section is ready for installation of the railway infrastructure. A further railway systems building is being constructed underground at the base of the construction logistics access adit.
  • Following the second final breakthrough in the west tube between Faido and Sedrun on March 23, 2011, driving in both 57-kilometres-long single-track tunnels is complete after 11 years. Both tunnel boring machines are being dismantled in the so-called dismantling caverns and the individual parts transported out of the tunnel. In Faido and Sedrun construction work is concentrating on lining the tubes and cross galleries as well as fitting-out of the multifunction station.
  • In the Bodio section, a first phase of installation of the railway systems was completed at the end of March 2011: cables and the permanent railway track have already been laid. The east tube is still being used as the transport route for supplies to the Faido section.
  • In May 2011 on the south overground section between Biasca and Osogna, the first execution work began for connection of the AlpTransit line to the SFR main line (Nodo della Giustizia).

Ceneri Base Tunnel

  • Around Camorino, to the north of the north portal, work continued on various building constructions and sub-projects. These include construction of a railway bridge over the A2 motorway. Preparations are also in progress for the approximately 1-kilometre-long Lugano-Bellinzona viaduct, a central construction of the Nodo di Camorino.
  • By the north portal at Vigana, driving for the single-track tunnel of the new Lugano-Bellinzona section is complete. At the twin-track portal (new Bellinzona-Lugano section and Lugano-Locarno connecting loop), work moved beyond the area affected by the A2 motorway.
  • At Sigirino, blasting is in progress to the north and south in both tubes.
  • In the south portal at Vezia, at the beginning of April 2011 in the west tube, 303 m of the crown and 112 m of the bench had been excavated, and in the east tube 335 m of the crown and 135 metres of the bench.