Switzerland

Renovation of the Albula Tunnel approved

The Albula Tunnel opened in 1903 belonging to the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) is 5.8 km long with a single track. A new parallel tunnel is now to be built 30 m away from the existing one owing to damage to the structure and a great need to improve safety standards. In mid-May 2014 the Swiss Federal Transport Office (BAV) issued the corresponding planning permit for the new tunnel. At present the preparatory work for the installation yard is forging ahead at both portal sides. In the tunnel itself the initial preparations for the subsequent blasting operations for producing the 12 cross-passages are being tackled.

Tunnelling activities are due to commence in 2015, the breakthrough is scheduled for December 2017 and the tunnel is to be opened in 2020. After the new tunnel is operational the old one will be used as a safety and evacuation tunnel. The remote construction site is largely to be opened up by rail with a construction station being set up at both sides of the tunnel. The building costs for the new tunnel and conversion of the two portal stations are earmarked at some 280 million euros. At present the tendering process for the roughwork operations for the new tunnel including the cross-passages are taking place. In winter 2014/2015 the contract for the main construction section is to be awarded so that in spring 2015 work on setting up the site can forge ahead.

G.B. / M.K.

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