|Construction of Gottard Rail Tunnel, Amsteg, |
A Turkish company is part of the construction team that will complete a new tunnel to facilitate a high-speed rail link between
Italy and . Ankara-based Rönesans
Holding is working on the 35-mile (57km) long Gotthard Rail Tunnel under
the Switzerland Alps mountain range. When completed in
2016, the it will not only be the world’s longest tunnel, but
at 1.5 miles below ground, also the deepest.
Work started on the tunnel some 20 years ago and the initial work was completed in 2011. In July 2013, Rönesans Holding acquired the Swiss arm of
Austria’s Alpine Group, and
with it joined the team of specialist firms responsible for completing the remaining
works for the new Alps tunnel.
Rönesans is working together with Alpiq In Tec, Alcatel-Lucent Schweiz/Thales Rss, Balfour Beatty Rail to install the rail track, power supply, and telecommunications equipment. The new rail tunnel is due to open at the end of 2016 – a year ahead of schedule – at a cost of some 9.5 billion Euros. The investment will help shave an hour off the existing journey between
Zurich and ,
taking just 2 hours and 40 minutes using trains that will travel at 250 km/h
along the new high-speed rail link. Milan
The construction project – the largest currently in Europe – was initiated to protect and preserve the nature of the
and to improve travel safety. The Swiss public had long called for the removal
of heavy-load freight trucks from the Gotthard Road Tunnel due to the high
levels of pollution and the increased risk of major fires when collisions
occurred, such as in 2001 when 11 people were killed and many more injured.
Formed in 1993, Rönesans Holding has extensive experience in construction projects across
Turkey, Russia, central Asia and the Middle
East. The award-winning construction firm has built shopping
malls, airports including Sochi International (where thousands recently passed
through for the Winter Olympics), and power plants such as Sena Hydroelectric
Power Plant in northeast Turkey.
Avni Akvardar, the group’s chairman, said recently the firm intends to compete far more against the world’s leading tunnel construction specialists.