Tunnelbuilder Promoting the world's tunnelling industry to a huge qualified audience

View the Spanish Tunnelbuilder website View the Italian Tunnelbuilder website

Archive Search


Switzerland, Lotschberg - ch/18

AlpTransit Railway

BASF MEYCO Fireshield 1350 fire protection mortar was used on this project   Located at Goppenstein, 4.1 km Ferden access adit to be driven through gneisses and schists in the Aare massif. Also Fystertella ventilation tunnel 1.735 km and 365 m shaft to be raise bored at 1.8 m and enlarged to 5 m. This will connect via a ventilation chamber to the twin main tunnels. May 1998.   Tenders invited for 9.4 m-diameter single-track tunnel to be driven in three lengths from Mitholz near Frutigen at north end using TBM or drill/blast. Also TBM drives at south end for 3,073 m Steg tunnel, 4,100 m west bore to Ferden and 2,000 m to Raron. February 1999.   Awards expected in August and October, 1999. May 1999.   Contract awarded to jv of Skanska, Rothpletz & Lienhard, Walo Bertschinger and Ilbau for 2 x 7.5 km-long Mittholz central section to commence March, 2000. November 1999.   Steg 3.073 km access tunnel, 4.117 km TBM drive at 9.4 m-diameter, and 2 km-long drill/blast section awarded to Matrans jv comprising Marti, Walter, Porr and Balfour Beatty in equal quarters. Value $160 million. Mitholz jv reported earlier is actually led by Ilbau, and includes Dumez-GTM together with the three other partners already listed. Contract due to be signed February, 2000 at a value reported as $315 million. November 1999.   Open tendering, deadline 4th September, 2000, for construction of 8.5 km of 62 - 78 sq m running tunnels accessed from the base of the developing Ferden adit. The office handling this project is BLS AlpTransit AG, Aarestrasse 38 B, Postfach 3601 Thun, Switzerland, e-mail info@blsat.ch or visit www.alptransit.ch May 2000. Construction of 1.5 km drill/blast and 9.2 km of 9.4 m-diameter Raron TBM tunnel awarded to Matrans consortium of Marti, Walter, Porr and Balfour Beatty.Visit www.balfourbeatty.com May 2000.Balfour Beatty, reports that contract value of Raron twin 10.7 km tunnels with optional 1 km extensions is $150 million. Client is BLS AlpTransit AG, a subsidiary of SBB Swiss Railways. Visit www.balfourbeatty.com July 2000.   DBT Mineral Processing GmbH reports that it is supplying three crawler-mounted mobile impact roller type SB 1315R crusher plants to process the 1.8 million cu m of solid rock to be excavated in the two 9.5 km south tunnels and the single 7.4 km north tunnel. The crushers will be fed by side-dump loaders at the face and moved up after every blast. Crushed rock of -200 mm sizing will be discharged onto a telescopic belt conveyor installed in the roof of the tunnel. Visit www.dbtminpro.de July 2000. Three Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer XL3 C and two L2 C computerised drillrigs to be delivered to Schweizer Alp Transit Consortium (Satco) for driving main running tunnels north and south from base of Mitholz access adit. Visit www.atlascopco.com July 2000. Award to consortium of Losinger, Prader, Bouygues, Deneriaz, Evequoz, Imboden and Theler of $65 million construction contract for 12 km of tunnel off four faces at Ferden access towards Bern and Valais, starting May, 2001 and completing late-2005. Visit www.blsalptransit.ch 15/01. Award of $170 million drill/blast contract for 7.1 km-long, 9 m-diameter twin-tube section of Lotschberg base tunnel to Bouygues for completion early-2005. Visit www.blsalptransit.ch 28/01. BLS AlpTransit reports that 66 km, or 75% of the total tunnel system, has been driven, mainly by drill/blast using Atlas Copco drillrigs. The Adelrain fork cavern has been excavated on the drive N from Mitholz, and the west tube is now underway with 600 m to go to Frutigen portal. The 9.7 km Mitholz drives S are 67% complete, and the Ferden drives N are around 30 %, while Ferden drives S are virtually finished. At the Raron end, the Herrenknecht TBM drives N are well advanced, with the west tube complete, and the 9.7 km east tube 65% complete. The 4.5 km drill/blast west tube portal drive is 76 % complete. Visit www.blsalptransit.ch 13/03. As of 1st April, 2003, progress at the Lötschberg base tunnel reached 67,493 metres which represents 76.6% of the whole tunnel system. In Frutigen, the first 120 m of the west tube have been excavated. Delicate work is presently under way to drive the east tube under the embankment supporting the existing BLS line.Heading north from Mitholz, there is only 200 m to go before the junction with the Frutigen west tube. Breakthrough is scheduled for mid-May. Heading south, the tricky karstic area in Doldenhorn, 2.7 km in length, has been crossed without too much trouble. The teams are now gearing up towards the last risky geological area at the Lötschberg with two difficult stretches composed of crumbly materials. More than 2.3 km of internal concrete lining has already been installed in the east tube. The spoil management facilities have processed so far 472,000 tonnes of concrete aggregates.In Ferden, the southbound east tube has been completed on 2nd April and teams are now concentrating on the north drives. The internal concrete lining (invert and side walls) is being installed. The Steg/Niedergesteln teams are drilling the cross galleries between the west and east tubes. The concrete lining works are due to begin this month heading for Rarogne. The Ferden-bound Herrenknecht TBM, which started in Rarogne, reached km 6.5 while in the west bore, miners have only 1 km to go. Breakthrough is expected for the summer. Visit www.blsalptransit.ch 16/03.Consortium SATCO tunnelling from Mitholz encountered the Vorlos tunnelling team working from Frutigen on 14th May, 2003. This second breakthrough at the Lötschberg base tunnel took exactly 1,000 calendar days. The tunnel includes a 7,492 m drive, 22 transverse tunnels, a service station and a crossover cavern. The majority of the work (7,024 m) was performed from Mitholz by SATCO using the drill/blast method. Tunnellers working from the north portal in Frutigen drove the first 120 metres of base tunnel in difficult conditions in unconsolidated rock and just 5 m below the BLS rail line which remained in operation while work was in progress. 80% of the total tunnel system has now been driven. Visit www.blsalptransit.ch. 22/03.By end-January, 2004 Satco had excavated almost 23 km of tunnel. They were awarded a further bonus kilometre towards Ferden in the south, and a contract to mine an 800 m-long parallel link close to the Frutigen portal in the north. As a result, Satco will excavate 26 km of tunnel by mid-2004. Meanwhile, concrete lining is underway in the east tube, with 300 m completed in the north drive, and more than 5 km in the south. More from wolfgang.lehner@satco.ch or visit www.blsalptransit.ch 08/04.