Thales equips the world's longest railway tunnel

Thales train

Key Points

  • Thales equips the world’s longest railway tunnel in Switzerland, 57 km long.

  • The ETCS technology allows for more than 300 trains per day at speeds of up to 250km/h.

  • This new link will cut travel times between Zurich and Milan to under 3 hours.

The opening ceremony of the Gotthard Tunnel, the world’s longest railway tunnel, will take place today in Switzerland! As a member of the Transtec Gotthard Consortium, Thales has integrated its cutting-edge train control system, ETCS Level 2, into the new Gotthard Tunnel. It will connect the Swiss-Italian and Swiss-German regions under the Alps.

Following the successful completion of the Lötschberg Tunnel, the Gotthard Tunnel will stretch over 57 km at a depth of 2.300 meters under the Alps. This new link will cut travel times from Zurich to Milan to under 3 hours (an hour less than today). It will shift transportation from road to rail, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and is expected to be used by thousands of passengers and freight trains every day – two passenger train and six freight trains every hour.

"We are very proud to contribute to this exceptional project, which was the most important missing link of the European corridors, connecting Rotterdam to Genoa. In spite of the complexity of the programme, we have successfully delivered the whole railway system for the tunnel including Thales’s signalling system, one year in advance." Peter Huber, General Project Manager Transtec Gotthard

Thales’s advanced ETCS signalling technology will allow for the circulation of more than 300 trains per day at speeds of up to 250km/h in both directions. This is the result of a global investment of 12 billion Swiss francs, including 1.9 billion for the railway equipment and 196 million for Thales’s contribution.

Thales’s involvement in the Gotthard project includes managing the development, production, installation, integration and homologation of the rail signalling systems within the overall system. It has also carried out all the testing procedures. These systems have been built up under realistic conditions in the company’s Gotthard laboratory in Zurich and are the result of 8 years of work by a German-Italian bilingual team!

About Thales TransportationThales logo

Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets. With 61,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €13 billion in 2014. With over 20,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its unique international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world

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