Nexans wins a 30 million euro contract for the integral supply of the cabling of the new Lötschberg railway tunnel (Switzerland)
This 35-km long base tunnel1 will be the longest trans-Alpine railway tunnel in Europe when it is opened to traffic in 2007.
The site planning and engineering work has already begun, and will continue until 2004. The cable and cabling system installation work will be carried out between 2005 and 2007.
Nexans is responsible for providing a full services package- engineering, planning & scheduling, assembly/installation and associated services - for the totality of these cable systems, and is a member of the company grouping that will provide the track infrastructure, the catenary, the on-site transport means, the high-voltage infrastructures and the ventilation.
"We are very pleased to have been chosen to equip this first trans-Alpine rail link with a base tunnel in Switzerland, stated Jean-Claude Vagnières, President of Nexans in Switzerland. When installing products of this type tunnels of this scale, it is vital to meet very stringent criteria and requirements, in accordance with international standards and norms to guarantee maximum safety of rail traffic and passengers".
Nexans has developed specific skills and know-how in this domain that enable it to offer its customers general contractor services and deliver turnkey projects.
The Lötschberg base tunnel, a phased construction project
The Lötschberg base tunnel is designed such that it can fulfil three functions in one:
* Improve the rail transit infrastructure by providing a high-performance railway line for goods traffic along the Basle-Berne-Brigue-Domodossola-Milan and the Novara/Genova axes.
* Provide a direct rail link with the central Valais, with a reduction in the travel time on the Berne - Sion route.
* Link two motorways - the N6/N9 - through the possibility of piggyback carrying of all road vehicles with drivers/passengers that are authorized to travel on the Swiss national highways.
The Swiss Federal Council's network concept for the trans-Alpine axes provides for the simultaneous construction of a single-tube twin-track base tunnel on the Saint-Gotthard line, and a twin-tube base tunnel with two single-track tubes on the Löschberg line, although only one track will be laid along two-thirds of the line to begin with. This means that only the primary function of the Lötschberg base tunnel will be fulfilled in the first phase, that is to say the transit traffic of people and goods. The carrying of cars and drivers/passengers can continue through the existing tunnel until the appropriate time. The direct link with the central Valais, which would bring a one-hour reduction in journey time, has been postponed for the time being.
About BLS Alptransit
BLS AlpTransit SA was founded in 1993 as an affiliate company of BLS Lötschbergbahn SA. Its purpose is to plan and build the Lötschberg base tunnel. It Board of Directors comprises seven key figures from the political, economic and scientific scenes, with Martin Josi, director of BLS Lötschbergbahn SA as company President. BLS AlpTransit SA has a flexible structure. All the planning and construction work is contracted out to private companies by BLS AlpTransit SA. For technical questions specific to railways, BLS AlpTransit AG consults experts from BLS Lötschbergbahn SA.