The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) is a railway tunnel in the heart of the Swiss Alps expected to open in 2016. With a route length of 57 km (35.4 mi) and a total of 151.84 km (94.3 mi) of tunnels, shafts and passages, it is the world's longest rail tunnel, surpassing the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.
Its main purpose is to increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight, notably between Germany and Italy, and more particularly to shift freight volumes from road to rail to reduce environmental damage caused by ever-increasing numbers of heavy lorries. A secondary benefit will be to cut the journey time for passenger trains from Zürich to Milan by about an hour and from Zürich to Lugano to 1-hour 40 minutes. The project consists of two single-track tunnels. It is part of the AlpTransit project, also known as the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA), which includes the Lötschberg Base Tunnel between the cantons of Bern and Valais and the under construction Ceneri Base Tunnel (scheduled to open late 2019) to the south. It bypasses the Gotthardbahn, a winding mountain route opened in 1882 across the Saint-Gotthard Massif, which is now operating at capacity, and establishes a direct route usable by high-speed rail and heavy freight trains. The total cost of the project is 9.8 billion Swiss francs, or US$10.3 billion. When completed, the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be one of the longest tunnel construction projects in the world: 20 years of constant construction and preparation.
It took 14 years, but the Gotthard Base Tunnel, two parallel tubes more than 35 miles in length, has finally broken out of the Swiss Alps.
It will take several more years to complete (it's actually ahead of schedule), but several publications today have taken time to mark the considerable achievement: It is now officially the longest tunnel in the world.
After drilling an 800-meter tunnel vertically into a mountain, the team responsible for Gotthard worked from the middle out. When completed, the tunnel will connect northern Italy to southern Germany. It is the first of three massive projects; the other two tunnels will connect Austria and France to Italy.
The World’s Fifth Longest Tunnel Deploys Ethernet for Mission-Critical Traffic Control System
Taiwan’s Hsuehshan Tunnel is the second longest road tunnel in Southeast Asia (fifth longest in the world) and is composed of three independent tunnels (one pilot tunnel, one West-bound tunnel, and one East-bound tunnel) stretching 12.9 kilometers through Hsuehshan Mountain, the second highest mountain in East Asia.
Emergencies occurring inside a tunnel of this length can be disastrous, especially a fire-related incident. To minimize traveler casualties during an emergency, a traffic control system, consisting of two entry gates and two exit gates, is deployed to respond accordingly in events of emergencies by lowering appropriate gates to effectively divert traffic and prevent vehicle entry into dangerous areas.
• Industrial-grade durability to withstand roadside conditions • Integration of serial-based PLCs to the Ethernet network • Redundant network connectivity to ensure system functionality
The tunnel gate system is controlled by OMRON PLCs that respond to automated traffic control signals or can be manually operated. The serial-based PLCs are integrated onto the Ethernet network using Moxa’s NPort 5230serial-to-Ethernet device servers. When an emergency occurs, the NPort 5230 allows PLCs to be directly accessible from the network to lower entry gates immediately.
For transmission requirements between the control gates, the system integrator utilized Moxa’s EDS-508-SS-SC to form a single-mode fiber optic Ethernet redundant ring network to ensure continuous network connectivity in case of a segment failure. The fiber ring network is also linked to the local control room via a fiber connection. With deployment of this reliable network for traffic control, Hsuehshan Tunnel operators can regulate traffic flow to ensure the safety of travelers in the event of an emergency.