quinta-feira, 2 de junho de 2016

Gotthard rail tunnel: a work titanesca in the heart of the Alps

1999 was the year kick-off to a work titanesca that lasted 17 years. Drilling the Gotthard rock massive, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, to build a tunnel.

For the dig, were used four giant drills: Gabi 1 and 2, Heidi and Sissi, each with 300 tons, which began work in 2003. More than 28 million stones of 73 different types of rock were mined from the bowels of the mountain.

The 15 October 2010 Sissy pierces the last few metres of rock. The deviation is only eight centimeters horizontally and one centimeter vertically. A feat. Inside the tunnel, the temperature reaches 45 degrees. Nine workers lost their lives during the construction.

The new rail tunnel is th e deepest in the world, 2300 metres below the Piz Vatgira rock massive, and the longest, with 57 kilometres between Erstfeld and Bodio, for only 20 minutes.

After it took 300 kilometres of Rails and install 380 000 concrete sleepers, to prepare the way for high-speed trains.

The tunnel is composed of three pipelines â€" two for trains, so that you don't cross, and one for evacuation of passengers.

The passenger trains can reach 250 km/h and 160 km, and, as the route is flat, heavier trains will circulate with a single locomotive.

This work is a fundamental axis in the railway line that runs through the Alps and that is part of the Rhine-Alp es corridor, which stretches from Rotterdam, on the banks of the North Sea, to Genoa in the Mediterranean.

The purpose of this rail is to decongest the roads, particularly those that give access to the Gotthard road tunnel and make more fluid traffic of goods, which is expected to suffer a 20% increase, until 2020, the Rotterdam axis/Genoa.

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