Thales signalling for rail tunnel

Thales, as part of the Transtec Gotthard Consortium, has been awarded €72m (£65m) to deliver, install and test a turnkey rail-signalling solution for the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Equipment to be supplied includes Electronic Interlocking, European Train Control System (ETCS) level 2 and a Centralised Traffic Control System.

Set to start operations in 2017, the 57km Gotthard Base Tunnel will be the longest rail tunnel in the world and will connect the Swiss Italian and Swiss German regions.

The tunnel will house two separate tubes, capable of handling over 300 trains a day.

Travel speed is expected to increase from 140 to 250km/h and transit time between Zurich and Milan will be reduced from 3h 40min to 2h 40min. 

The Gotthard tunnel is expected to strengthen the shift of transalpine transit traffic from road to rail and is part of the NRLA project (New Rail Link through the Alps) initiated by the Swiss authorities with the Lötschberg Tunnel, which was inaugurated in 2007.