Porta Alpina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Surface works for the tunnel at Sedrun.

Porta Alpina (English: Alpine Gate) is a proposed railway station to be located in the middle of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in southern Switzerland.[1] The project was put on hold in 2007 [2] but was revived by private investors in 2012.[3] It will be the deepest underground train station in the world[4] at 800 meters underground.

Porta Alpina was proposed to be located near a crossover between the northbound and southbound tunnels. It was to be linked to the surface by the world's highest elevator, using shafts built near the village of Sedrun for the construction of the tunnel. Construction costs were estimated at 40-50 million Swiss francs, with annual operating costs of 2.5 million francs. The station is projected to be open in 2016 after the Base Tunnel is scheduled to come into service.

Proponents of Porta Alpina viewed it both as a potential tourist attraction in its own right, and as a useful transport link to assist the economically challenged Graubuenden region.[4] The station would have connected the North/South Gotthard railway line with the East/West Rhaetian Railway/Matterhorn-Gotthard Railway, which would link to the elevator by means of local buses to Sedrun station (MGB) and Disentis station (RhB). This was to have been the fastest public transport link between Zürich and the canton of Graubünden.

The project was initially positively received, and the Swiss parliament approved CHF 7.5 million of startup funding in 2005. However, further studies indicated substantial problems including the questionable feasibility of the elevators, the negative impact on tunnel rail capacity and the unprofitability of the whole enterprise. The Swiss Federal Council and the government of the canton of Graubünden announced in September 2007 that the project was put on indefinite hold. Spokesperson Manfred Messmer for the private investor group confirmed the revival of the project in a report by St. Galler Tagsblatt.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shafy, Samiha. Elevator to the Underworld Der Spiegel, 31 December 2006. Retrieved: 17 September 2010.
  2. ^ "World's longest lift put on hold". Swissinfo with agencies. September 13, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Plans revived for world's deepest train station". The Local. 9 Feb 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Funding approval elevates world's longest lift". swissinfo. 13 December 2005. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 

Coordinates: 46°40′34″N 8°46′29″E / 46.67611°N 8.77472°E / 46.67611; 8.77472