Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

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lpetrich
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Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by lpetrich » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:11 pm

Lötschberg plans full rail baseline finish

The Bern–Lötschberg–Simplon railroad company, BLS AG, now plans to complete the west bore of the Lötschberg Base Tunnel. It is only partially done, and the tunnel is operated as a single-track line in the east bore, thus being a major bottleneck. Approvals should be done in mid-2020, contracting should start in 2021, construction should start in 2021-22, and it should be done by the end of 2028.

From north to south, the state of completion is:
  • Wengi-Ey
  • West bore unfinished (Engstlige tunnel) - 4 km
  • Frutigen
  • West bore not tunneled - 7 km
  • Mitholz crossover unfinished
  • West bore unfinished - 14 km
  • Ferden crossover
  • West bore in service - 14 km
  • Raron
The undone bit of the west bore will likely be tunneled by drill-and-blast.

The project's cost will be nearly USD 1 billion. Scaling from Switzerland's population of 8.27 million to the US's population of 327.2 million (2018 numbers) gives about USD 40 billion.

David Benton
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by David Benton » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:58 pm

Are Germany and Italy not chipping in ? The main benefit of the Tunnels is to them, I think. I.E , traffic that passes through Switzerland.
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kato
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by kato » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:02 pm

No direct contribution from either. The construction is paid from a public fonds for large railway projects in Switzerland of which 55% is financed by truck tolls though.

The project is part of the EU Rhine-Alpine transport corridor, a pretty minor one at that; overall cost for rail infrastructure in the corridor is 75 billion Euro (83 billion USD), distributed about 48.3% Switzerland, 27.1% Germany, 19.2% Italy, 2.8% Belgium and 2.6% Netherlands. Another 25 billion will be invested in roads, ports, airports and waterways, though not much of that in Switzerland. Largest single project within the corridor was the Gotthard base tunnel at 12.5 billion, though there's about half a dozen other projects in the 4-7 billion range.

The main benefit of the tunnels is that Switzerland doesn't drown in trucks. Literally. And the tunnels are the vehicle to achieve that. They're currently at 900,000 trucks per year transiting (lowest level since the early 90s) and a rail modal share of 72% for freight for that.

Target is to cut it to 650,000, which they were technically by law supposed to reach last year. The Lötschberg "extension" (second tunnel) is part of a number of projects to get to that target number.

ExCon90
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:27 pm

David Benton wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:58 pm
Are Germany and Italy not chipping in ? The main benefit of the Tunnels is to them, I think. I.E , traffic that passes through Switzerland.
When the St.-Gotthard highway tunnel was built the saying in Switzerland was "the Italians built it, the Swiss paid for it, and the Germans use it."

David Benton
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by David Benton » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:30 am

Probably better than having the Italians driving on it, sorry Benny!.
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spRocket
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by spRocket » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:29 pm

Do SBB and BLS operate roll-on/roll-off trains carrying trucks? I've seen such trains on cab footage from Austria, but I don't know if this is something done elsewhere in Europe. The truckers ride along in a passenger car at the head of the train.
When it's a tie at the railroad crossing, you lose.

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Benny
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by Benny » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:37 pm

David Benton wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:30 am
Probably better than having the Italians driving on it, sorry Benny!.
:-D :-D :-D

To Sprocket. Yes, in Switzerland the main north-south lines are served by lorry (and private cars) carrying trains.

Ciao :wink:
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kato
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Re: Lötschberg Base Tunnel to be Completed - Switzerland

Post by kato » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:47 am

The "rolling road" between Freiburg in South Germany and Novara near Milan is operated by RAlpin, a joint venture of the three major Swiss rail freight companies BLS, SBB Cargo and Hupac. They do a schedule with up to 60 trains per week and direction, all running through Lötschberg. Last couple years they've been filling 80% of their slots.

A minor second route originally operated by Hupac from Basel to Lugano with about 8 trains per day through Gotthard was cancelled without replacement last year. RAlpin is working on doubling their operations by running the same amount as through Lötschberg through Gotthard from 2020.

Longterm RAlpin and RCG (operating the line through the Brenner in Austria) are planning to switch to the same rolling stock. Passenger cars for the drivers are currently being switched to ex-ÖBB sleeper cars being rebuilt with double cabins.

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