Safety doors in the world's longest tunnel: test experience from selected prototypes

The Gotthard Base Tunnel will be the world's longest railway tunnel, with a length of 57 km. The two single-track tubes are linked by 178 cross passages every 300 m approximately, and two stations with an emergency exit for each tube, the location is about one-third and two-thirds along the base tunnel. During the regular operation both high speed passenger trains (up to 250 km/h) and slower freight trains (up to 160 km/h) will run through the tunnel. In a case of emergency, the doors of the cross passages and those of the emergency stations will be essential elements of the safety concept. A high safety level is a very important premise for the operation of a railway tunnel and as well an economic exigency. After the fatalities in some existing long traffic tunnels the public opinion shows special sensitivity to tunnel safety: in general clients and project managers were called upon to undertake every reasonable effort to further increase tunnel safety. In order to assure a long service life (long durability, no revision of the doors in the first 20 years after the installation), the required fire protection (90 minutes with a temperature of 1000 degrees C) and the efficiency in case of an evacuation, very high and severe requirements have been set for the delivery of these doors. The client - A1pTransit Gotthard Ltd. - decided to adopt a special procedure for the commissioning and for the evaluation by means of prototypes. A selective bidding procedure with pre-qualification has been started on January 2005. The paper gives a short presentation of the safety concept in case of fire accident (evacuation procedure) and a panoramic of the most important requirements of the different door-types. It gives also the state of progress of the special procedure for the commissioning and the feed-backs from the tests on selected prototypes (A). For the covering abstract of the conference se ITRD E216839.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: pp261-266
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings from the Third International Symposium on Tunnel Safety and Security, Stockholm, Sweden, March 12-14 2008
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 2008:11
    • Publisher: SP Sveriges provnings- och forskningsinstitut, Sweden
    • ISSN: 0284-5172

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01141082
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • ISBN: 978-91-85829-25-5
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 30 2009 9:00AM