Switzerland

TBM Assembly at Eppenberg Tunnel: Driving starts in early 2017

The Olten–Aarau route is one of the busiest Swiss rail arteries; between Däniken and Wöschnau it narrows from four tracks to two. This bottleneck is to be eliminated by 2020 so that train services can be augmented. For comparison: instead of 510 trains per day (according to figures from 2010) 830 trains per day will probably use the route in 2030. It will cost a total of some 855 million Swiss francs (777 million euros) to upgrade the Olten–Aarau line for accommodating four tracks.

The 3114 m long Eppenberg Tunnel is to be the core structure of this project. Two evacuation and rescue shafts as well as an adit set some 800 m apart will serve as emergency exits and at the same time as accesses for the emergency services. The Marti Eppenberg JV commissioned with building the tunnel will drive it from the Wöschnau portal towards the west by mechanised means, employing a Mixshield (S 994; Herrenknecht AG) with a 12.75 m cutting wheel diameter, 3500 kW driving power and weighing 2400 t.

First of all, roughly 1.9 km of tunnel has to be excavated in hard rock. After conversion underground, an approximately 800 m long gravel section, partially located in groundwater, will be driven by a hydro-shield.

After the tunnel boring machine was approved at the factory in mid-July, assembly was due to start onsite in September 2016. In early 2017, the roughly 3 km long excavation is scheduled to begin and completed according to plan by spring 2018. It is estimated that the four-track upgrade will be completed and the opening of the Eppenberg Tunnel take place in late 2020.

G. B.

Related articles:

Issue 01/2015 Switzerland

SBB awards Contract to build the Eppenberg Tunnel

The SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) awarded the main contract section for the four-track upgrading of the Olten–Aarau route in November 2014. The contract worth some 274 million Swiss francs was awarded...

more
Issue 02/2018 Switzerland

Eppenberg Tunnel: Successful Breakthrough early February 2018

An important milestone for the continuous four-track east/west axis in Switzerland has been accomplished: The tunnel boring machine has finished the 2600 m long tunnel through the Eppenberg in its...

more
Issue 08/2017 MAT Mischanlagentechnik

Separating Plant BE-2550 for the Building of the Eppenberg Tunnel

For more than 25 years, the company MAT Mischanlagentechnik has supplied the latest mixing and separation plants, also for complex and challenging projects. On the large Eppenberg Tunnel project in...

more
Switzerland

Redeveloping the Axen Route with 9 Tunnels to begin in 2017

The SBB is using the time between the opening of the Gotthard and the Ceneri Base Tunnels to upgrade and renew the access routes to the tunnels. This also includes the Axen route, where the track...

more
Issue 03/2017 Switzerland

Swiss Tunnel Congress 2017 with Colloquium and Excursions

From May 30 to June 1, 2017, the Swiss Tunnelling Society (STS) is staging the 16th Swiss Tunnel Congress. As in previous years the first two days will take place in the Concert Hall at the Lucerne...

more