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The Gotthard Base Tunnel Project wins the Project Excellence Award

The Gotthard Base Tunnel Project wins the Project Excellence Award 14.12.2015 - The Gotthard Base Tunnel is designed to be 57 kilometres in length, making it the longest railway tunnel in the world and Switzerland’s biggest construction project, and it is scheduled to open in 2016. When that happens, both passenger and freight trains will be able to cross the alps in both directions without any steep climbs or descents.

The project‘s track development and installation concept is considered to be both exemplary and remarkable because ARGE Fahrbahn Transtec Gotthard, the company responsible for installing the tracks, completed installation work on 115 km of track seven months before the scheduled project close-out.

In an interview with the “projektManagement aktuell“ magazine (5.2015 issue) project manager Detlef Obieray talked about the challenges that he and his team had to overcome. For example, they collaborated with research institutes to develop their own track system so that they could comply with all the different track stability specifications for mixed passenger and freight traffic. A special cement train was also developed specifically for the project to deliver the necessary materials. They were then mixed into cement just before the construction site and then transported to the site piece by piece. This made it possible for the project team to avoid shuttle traffic and allowed the next teams of contractors to install the railway technology on the finished tracks. Work in the tunnel went on 24 hours a day.

The project team also had to work with incredible precision. On a stretch of track covering 57 km the tolerance for the distance between the parallel rails was just 1 mm and the tolerance for the difference in height between one sleeper block and the next was 0.1 mm to prevent unevenness – which would be fatal for trains travelling at speeds of up to 275 km/h.

The individual stages of the process were defined in advance and then calculated. This precise definition of requirements for each of the 24 stages also made reliable quality management possible. Special-purpose machines were designed and developed to perform certain tasks and put through trials on an around 250 metres-long test track that the project team built to reflect real working conditions.

IAPM Senior Official for the Metropolitan Area of Zurich, Sandra Goll, and a group of project managers visited the project as part of an IAPM Network Meeting almost two years ago, where they were given an informative presentation by the deputy-CEO of Alp Transit Gotthard AG and a guided tour of the tunnel.

We are delighted that the project is still making excellent progress and that there is nothing standing in the way of the opening in 2016. It is a deserving winner of the Project Excellence Award.

BMW AG’s “New BMW Plant in Brazil“ project also got first place. Further winners are the Stuttgart Regional Council’s “Flood Risk Management Baden-Württemberg“ project, which was commissioned by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy, and TenneT TSO GmbH’s “SuedLink – Preliminary Planning Project“.
We’d like to congratulate all the winners and hope that all the project teams continue to be successful in their work!

You can find regularly updated information about the Gotthard Base Tunnel project here and a report about the IAPM event here.
 

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