Milestone in the Gotthard Base Tunnel - first breakthrough by a tunnel boring machine

Sep 20, 2006

The first tunnel boring machine (TBM) in the Gotthard Base Tunnel started out in the east tunnel from Bodio in November 2002. Two months later, the second TBM started driving in the west tunnel. A number of different geological zones had to be overcome along the approximately 15 km route to the multifunction station at Faido. The highly diverse geology impaired driving progress. Modifications to both TBMs brought sharp improvements. In December 2005, with 38 metres, the TBM in the east tunnel attained the highest daily advance rate of any TBM in the Gotthard Base Tunnel to date.

The breakthrough at Faido on 6 September 2006 took place with the expected precision. With a tunnel diameter of just under 10 metres, the deviation per 100 metres of tunnel length must not exceed 1.5 millimetres. Continuous measurements showed that the specified accuracy was maintained along the entire length of the drive. At breakthrough, the deviation of the TBM was only 2 cm vertically and 5 cm horizontally.

More than 1000 guests attended the breakthrough celebration in the multifunction station and watched as tunnellers from Bodio and Faido shook hands. In his celebratory speech, Peter Zbinden, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, praised the precision and quality of the work, and thanked the TAT Consortium, the GBT South Engineering Consortium, and the approximately 1000 tunnellers and engineers from Faido and Bodio for their achievement.

AlpTransit Gotthard AG
Head Office
Zentralstrasse 5
6003 Lucerne
Tel: 041 226 06 06
Fax: 041 226 06 00


AlpTransit Gotthard AG



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