US: On June 1, the world’s longest railway tunnel officially opened, featuring an Emergency Response System from Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure. As a subcontractor of Siemens Switzerland, Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure integrated its Intergraph Computer-Aided Dispatch (I/CAD) within the Gotthard Base Tunnel’s two Tunnel Control Systems.
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), is the constructor of the Gotthard axis of the new rail link from the north to the south through the Alps. Seventeen years after the first blast in the main duct, the Gotthard Base Tunnel consists of two 57-kilometers-long single-track tubes. With a rock overburden of up to 2,300 meters, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is also the world’s deepest railway tunnel constructed to date. The scheduled commercial services will start in December 2016.
Solving operations-related tasks is a major aspect of the work of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Two fully redundant Tunnel Control Systems have been implemented by Siemens Switzerland in two separate Tunnel Control Centers at the north and south portals, respectively, to control and monitor all the tunnel’s electrical systems.
An essential part of these Tunnel Control Systems is emergency handling in terms of monitoring emergency procedures and informing the operator in case procedures are not initiated automatically and correctly. Leveraging four operational seats of Hexagon’s I/CAD, the Emergency Response System is an integrated element of the Tunnel Control Systems.
“Security is paramount in the Gotthard Base Tunnel,” said Peter Müller, Project Manager of the Tunnel Control System, Siemens Switzerland. “And as a key tool fully integrated in the Tunnel Control Systems, Hexagon’s software solution ensures the necessary and proper steps for all cases of incident response.”
I/CAD is the key system for the management of events, such as trains stuck in the tunnels, fires in the tunnels, incidents on track construction sites or extreme weather events affecting the infrastructure. In case of an incident, Hexagon’s dispatching system supports operating personnel via checklists, situation plans and instructions to schedule and mobilize intervention teams. The system also provides a convenient way to monitor intervention areas.
“Gotthard Base Tunnel is a project of the century in respect to engineering, transportation and security,” said Maximilian Weber, senior vice president, EMEA, Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure. “We are proud that our software can help to maintain safe and efficient operations in this key rail link.”
Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure’s proven, integrated rail solutions help operators balance multiple factors – from safety to capacity to quality of service – to achieve success. Its asset management solutions support networks that carry half of Europe’s heavy rail passengers, while its safety and security solutions protect 5 billion rail passengers a year in North America and Europe.