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Building a Network for the World's Longest Railway Tunnel

10/16/2014



At a glance:
  • Over 500 Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switches used for voice and data communications during construction of new 57km long Gotthard Base Tunnel – due for completion December 2016
  • Robust network technology required to withstand extreme environmental conditions
     

Paris Train Station

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switching technology has been chosen for the 57km long Gotthard Base Tunnel construction project LP (Leistungspaket) 23 in the Swiss Alps. Its industrial-grade switches are being used to equip the tunnel with a fixed, converged voice and data communications network to serve as the basis for vital logistics, monitoring, telephony and personnel management during the construction phase of the project (LP 23) and for the tunnel accomplishment (LP 61).

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's close-cased OmniSwitch 6855-14 was selected for use in the tunnel after rigorous testing proved it fulfilled the strict reliability and security criteria for the project. The switches were found capable of withstanding the levels of dust, temperature and humidity found in the tunnel. More than 500 Alcatel-Lucent switches and 620 telephones enabled with visual signaling are being installed in the Base Tunnel and surface buildings to form the basis of the network that remotely controls and monitors tunnel systems. These include ventilation, drainage and lighting, as well as supporting location based personnel systems for use during maintenance work or incident management. The installation of the network was undertaken by Alcatel-Lucent's business partner ALPIQ-InTec.

As part of the New Rail Link through the Alps, the Gotthard axis is Switzerland’s biggest construction project to date and the Base Tunnel is due for completion in December 2016. The new north-south transalpine rail project is the first flat route through the Alps and aims to increase total freight capacity to meet growing demand and move freight volume from road to rail. It will also create a high speed passenger link across the Alps which is set to benefit national and international travelers in the area between southern Germany and North Italy. 

Business Partner ALPIQ-Intec  is actively engaged in the energy services sector and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alpiq Holding with 80 locations spread throughout the country. Overall, Alpiq InTec covers the full range of services, with expert solutions in every discipline. All services in the fields of building technology and facility management are amalgamated under one roof to form Alpiq InTec Ost AG

Quotes
Bruno Kolmann, Channel Sales Manager at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Switzerland
“The new tunnel is already the longest railway tunnel in the world at 57km, but for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, the total tunnel system length is actually over 150km when you include things such as access tunnels and cross passages. It is really a fantastic challenge to cover such an area with a fixed network. For this project we have managed to create a state of the art network which has both the robustness to withstand the environmental and physical demands, and is flexible enough to be adapted and extended to fulfil present and future needs.”

Thomas Schwab, Network Engineer at Alpiq InTec Ost AG

“Working on such a large and complex infrastructure project such as the Gotthard Tunnel, where safety and security are paramount, requires absolute confidence in both the equipment used and the design of the network. This installation has a level of network redundancy that ensures minimal risk of failure, and resilience of components to create a unique network solution that meets the exceptionally high standards that this project has set.”