Lötschberg Tunnel

The Lötschberg Tunnel is a 14.6 km long railway tunnel cutting through the Alps of Switzerland. Its ends are at the towns of Kandersteg in the Canton of Berne and Goppenstein in the Canton of Valais.

Construction began in 1906 and suffered delays by several severe accidents. In February 1908, an avalanche destroyed a hotel the workers lived in, killing 13. In July of the same year, a section of the tunnel collapsed, killing 25. The section was beyond repair, so a new tunnel had to be blasted, bypassing the site of the disaster. Breakthrough was achieved in March 1911. Regular service through the Lötschberg Tunnel began in 1913.

The tunnel is 14km long single bore twin track.

The Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon railway company offer a car transport service through the tunnel for accompanied vehicles. The journey time of approximately 20 minutes, passengers remain in their cars in open sided car transport vehicles. At peak times, the car transport service operates in each direction every 7½ minutes.

The new Lötschberg Base Tunnel, opened on June 15 2007, has been constructed some 400 m below the level of the current Lötschberg Tunnel as part of the NRLA (New Railway Link through the Alps) project.

Further reading


* Baumgartner, B., and M. Lortscher. 2007. "Commissioning of the Lotschberg Base Tunnel". "Elektrische Bahnen; Zentralblatt F̐ưur Elektrischen Zugbetrieb Und Alle Arten Von Triebfahrzeugen Mit Elektrischem Antrieb". no. 6: 345-350.
* Lortscher, M., et al. "Electric Installations in the Lotschberg Base Tunnel." "Elektrische Bahnen; Zentralblatt F̐ưur Elektrischen Zugbetrieb Und Alle Arten Von Triebfahrzeugen Mit Elektrischem Antrieb". 6 (2007): 323-344.
* Pesendorfer, M., and S. Loew. 2004. "Hydrogeologic Exploration During Excavation of the Lotschberg Base Tunnel (AlpTransit Switzerland)". "Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences". no. 104: 347-358.
* Vuilleumier, F., A. Weatherill, and B. Crausaz. 2002. "Safety Aspects of Railway and Road Tunnel: Example of the Lotschberg Railway Tunnel and Mont-Blanc Road Tunnel". "Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology". 17, no. 2: 153-158.
* 2000. "Lötschberg Base Tunnel Will Open Up Low-Level High-Cube Route in 2007". "Railway Gazette International". 156: 175-182.
* 2002. "TUNNELS - Lotschberg Team Advances Swiftly Through the Alps - Teams Using TBMs and Drill-and-Blast Methods Drive Tunnel That Will Speed Trucks Through Switzerland". "ENR.". 249, no. 3: 28.
* 2005. " [http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2007/06/7463/tracklaying_reaches_halfway_in_the_loetschberg_base_tunnel.html Tracklaying Reaches Halfway in the Lötschberg Base Tunnel] ". "Railway Gazette International". 161, no. 12: 773-775.

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