Supplying power to the Gotthard Corridor.

A reliable power supply is required for uninterrupted rail operations on the Gotthard North-South Corridor.

Today, the maximum power requirement on the Gotthard mountain route is 50 MW. With the opening of the new Gotthard tunnel and the Ceneri Base Tunnel soon after, this figure will increase to 80 MW during normal operation. Energy consumption is set to rise by around 20 percent for passenger services due to higher speeds and air resistance in the tunnel. Meanwhile, the flat line for freight services will reduce energy consumption by around 33 percent, as there will no longer be a need for mechanical braking.

The operation concept was developed to accommodate two passenger services and six freight services per hour in each direction once the Ceneri Base Tunnel is open. However, the rail power supply system must be upgraded considerably for this. It is important to ensure there is also enough capacity to accommodate exceptional operational circumstances; after lengthy disruption and route closures, catch-up freight services can be run every three minutes, for instance. This leads to much higher power requirements of up to 160 MW.

In order to meet this increased demand, power plants, transmission lines and substations are being upgraded or built along the entire Gotthard North-South Corridor. Some of the largest and most ambitious projects include the development of the Amsteg and Ritom power plants and the construction of the new Faido, Pollegio and Vezia substations. To ensure substations along the Gotthard Corridor have a reliable electricity supply, transmission lines are also being upgraded.

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