How SBB will operate the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Since mid-2014, SBB has controlled and monitored the entire rail operations in Ticino as well as to and from Arth-Goldau from the south operations centre (OC south) in Pollegio. OC south also provides the passenger information in the event of disruptions.

The 160 or so employees in Pollegio also control and monitor the operation of passenger and freight traffic as well as the safety systems and the traction power supply in the longest railway tunnel in the world.

According to the federal government’s specifications, from 2020, the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) must be able to accommodate six freight trains and two passenger trains per hour in each direction. To prevent traffic jams in the 57-kilometre tunnel, SBB has developed an ingenious transport concept.

Imposing a maximum speed of 200 km/h for passenger services and a minimum speed of 100 km/h for freight services – coupled with passing lanes at each tunnel entrance – will enable the tunnel to accommodate six freight services per hour in each direction, as required by law. In addition, the company has installed a modern ETCS Level 2 cab-signalling system on the north and south feeder lines.

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