Lötschberg Tunnel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the tunnel opened in 2007, see Lötschberg Base Tunnel.
Outline map of the Lötschbergbahn between Spiez and Brig in Switzerland, showing the part from Frutigen to Brig. Note the double loop completed with a 270 degree spiral tunnel between Kandergrund and Felsenburg (ca. km 60 and 70) and the straight stretch of the Lötschberg tunnel between km 75 and 90.
The Lötschberg Tunnel in the outline of the Lötschberg Line showing the planned straight and realized curved tunnel between km 75 und 90. Positions are indicated in travel distance from Bern in [km].[1]

The Lötschberg Tunnel is a 14.612 km (9.079 mi) long railway tunnel on the Lötschberg Line, which connects Spiez and Brig at the northern end of the Simplon Tunnel cutting through the Alps of Switzerland. Its ends are at the towns of Kandersteg in the Canton of Berne and Goppenstein in the Canton of Valais.[2]

Construction began in 1906 and suffered delays by several severe accidents. In February 1908, an avalanche destroyed a hotel the workers lived in, killing 13. In July of the same year, a section of the tunnel collapsed, killing 25. The section was beyond repair, so a new tunnel had to be blasted, bypassing the site of the disaster. Breakthrough was achieved in March 1911. Regular service through the Lötschberg Tunnel began in 1913.

The tunnel is a single bore twin track.

The BLS AG company offers a car transport service through the tunnel, between Kandersteg station and Goppenstein station, for accompanied vehicles. The journey time of approximately 20 minutes, passengers remain in their cars in open sided car transport vehicles. At peak times, the car transport service operates in each direction every 7½ minutes.

Car Transport through the Lötschberg Tunnel.

The new Lötschberg Base Tunnel, opened on June 15, 2007, has been constructed some 400 m (1,312 ft) below the level of the current Lötschberg Tunnel as part of the NRLA (New Railway Link through the Alps) project.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Röll, V. Freiherr von: Enzyklopädie des Eisenbahnwesens, Band 2. Berlin, Wien 1912, p. 256 on www.zeno.org/Roell-1912
  2. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Schweiz. Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH. 2012. p. 45. ISBN 978-3-89494-130-7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Baumgartner, B., and M. Lortscher. 2007. "Commissioning of the Lotschberg Base Tunnel". Elektrische Bahnen; Zentralblatt F̐ưur Elektrischen Zugbetrieb Und Alle Arten Von Triebfahrzeugen Mit Elektrischem Antrieb. no. 6: 345-350.
  • Lortscher, M., et al. "Electric Installations in the Lotschberg Base Tunnel." Elektrische Bahnen; Zentralblatt F̐ưur Elektrischen Zugbetrieb Und Alle Arten Von Triebfahrzeugen Mit Elektrischem Antrieb. 6 (2007): 323-344.
  • Pesendorfer, M., and S. Loew. 2004. "Hydrogeologic Exploration During Excavation of the Lotschberg Base Tunnel (AlpTransit Switzerland)". Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences. no. 104: 347-358.
  • Vuilleumier, F., A. Weatherill, and B. Crausaz. 2002. "Safety Aspects of Railway and Road Tunnel: Example of the Lotschberg Railway Tunnel and Mont-Blanc Road Tunnel". Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 17, no. 2: 153-158.
  • 2000. "Lötschberg Base Tunnel Will Open Up Low-Level High-Cube Route in 2007". Railway Gazette International. 156: 175-182.
  • 2002. "TUNNELS - Lotschberg Team Advances Swiftly Through the Alps - Teams Using TBMs and Drill-and-Blast Methods Drive Tunnel That Will Speed Trucks Through Switzerland". ENR.. 249, no. 3: 28.
  • 2005. "Tracklaying Reaches Halfway in the Lötschberg Base Tunnel". Railway Gazette International. 161, no. 12: 773-775.

Coordinates: 46°25′49″N 7°43′5″E / 46.43028°N 7.71806°E / 46.43028; 7.71806