Maintenance: a big challenge.
The size and complexity of the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) pose particular challenges in terms of maintenance.
Two 57-kilometre-long single-track tunnels and 13 kilometres of newly built overground lines make 308 kilometres of tracks, 153 kilometres of catenary, 7,200 lights, 500 kilometres of drainpipes and 2,200 electrical cabinets. These are just a few of the figures that indicate the size and complexity of the GBT and its facilities.
Maintaining the longest railway tunnel in the world is a major challenge. The 57-kilometre-long tunnel tubes are only accessible via two entrances. A tunnel tube is closed for three nights each time maintenance work is carried out. During this time, up to eleven workplaces are transferred from the new maintenance and intervention centres (MIC) in Biasca and Erstfeld to the GBT, where they are set up, put into operation and then vacated and transferred back again.
SBB requires special vehicles for tunnel maintenance, which consist of various partial trains that divide into smaller units after entering the tunnel and are distributed to the different workplaces.