Ticino tunnel boring machine reaches Grisons

A further milestone in the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel has been reached: On its way to Sedrun, the tunnel boring machine in the east tunnel has crossed the boundary to the canton of Grisons. The final breakthrough will take place in this canton.

A few days ago the tunnel boring machine in the east tunnel, which is ahead of the west tunnel, crossed the boundary between the cantons of Ticino and Grisons. The boundary was crossed 2,000 meters beneath Piz Scai (Grisons) and Alp Scaione (Ticino).

Of the total 57 km length of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, only about 5 km now remain until the first final breakthrough. "Both of the tunnel boring machines are making good progress", announced Renzo Simoni, Chief Executive Officer of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd., with pleasure: "The final breakthrough between Sedrun and Faido is expected to take place in November 2010."

In total, more than 90% of the approximately 151.8 kilometres of shafts, passages, and tunnels of the Gotthard Base Tunnel have now been excavated. Commercial operation of the Gotthard Base Tunnel with scheduled train services is expected to start at the end of 2017.