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Wed December 08 2021

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Golden sleeper laid for Gotthard Base Tunnel

3 Nov 14 The final rails have been laid in the Gotthard Base Tunnel after the contractor cast a ‘golden sleeper’ at a distance of about 54m from the south portal.

In total, 290km have been laid in 39 months and the entire 57km of the world's longest railway tunnel can now be continuously travelled by diesel locomotives.

At noon on Friday, the concreting train that was specially developed for the Gotthard Base Tunnel was used for the last time. At a formal ceremony in the tunnel, the ‘golden sleeper’ of the ballastless track was cast.

The general contractor Transtec Gotthard has used around 131,000m3 of concrete, transported 380,000 monolithic sleepers into the tunnel, and laid 290km of rails. Around 125 workers were in action in shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Renzo Simoni, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard, said: "An important milestone in the Gotthard Base Tunnel has been accomplished on time. The work is on schedule. The timetable for opening in June 2016 is valid."

Marco Hirzel, CEO of Transtec Gotthard, said: "Installing the railway infrastructure systems in the world's longest railway tunnel is a very challenging task. Only thanks to the collaboration of all of the approximately 720 people who are working on this project, can we achieve our goal of punctual handover of the tunnel."

All other work on the Gotthard axis is also on schedule. The surface installation sites along the Gotthard Base Tunnel have already been removed and recultivated. In autumn 2015, test operation in the entire Gotthard Base Tunnel will begin. In June 2016, the opening celebrations for the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be held. Integration into the SFR network with scheduled train services will take place in December 2016.

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