Ground Breaking on Switzerland’s Bözberg Tunnel

boezberg_553x238SBB – the Swiss national railway – and contractor Implenia, held a ground-breaking ceremony March 9 for the new Bözberg Tunnel.

The new Bözberg Tunnel is being added to the Gotthard route in order to encourage a further shift of transalpine freight transport from road to rail. The largest sub-project within this plan is the replacement of the existing Bözberg tunnel in Canton Aargau with a new twin-track tunnel. The goal is to allow containers with a corner height of 4 m to be transported along the route.

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The northern portal of the new tunnel is located near Effingen, while the southern one is by Schinznach-Dorf, where the ground-breaking ceremony was held. Installation sites are being set up at both locations. The main drilling work will be done by a tunnel boring machine (TBM) starting at the Schinznach-Dorf site. A loading station will be set up on the Schinznach-Brugg-Wildegg transport route to take away the spoil. This will save a total of 56,700 truck journeys along the roads from and to Wildegg. The tunnel is due to become operational in 2020.

As well as building the new track, the contract includes installation of some of the electrical equipment (rail technology). It also includes the conversion of the existing twin-track tunnel, which is not big enough for 4 m containers, into a service and rescue tunnel, as well as all of the implementation planning. Five cross-shafts will provide emergency access from the new to the old tunnel. The conversion work will take until 2022.

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