The 57 km long Gotthard Base Tunnel is the core of the new railway link through the Alps. It consists of two parallel single-track tubes, shafts, galleries and two multifunction stations in the Sedrun and Faido section with emergency stations and tunnel crossovers. This paper deals with the design challenges of the multifunction station Faido which consists of an extremely complicated combination of main tunnels, galleries and caverns in a very difficult geology with several fault zones. Some caverns and the crossovers cut the main tunnels in an acute angle. At some intersection points critical areas with minimal pillar widths are created. The article describes several evaluations which were carried out to ensure the stability of the rock pillars.


Today's steadily growing traffic volumes call for new, high-capacity transportation facilities. Switzerland's New Alpine Transversal (NEAT) will provide a high-speed rail link for passenger and freight trains passing through the Alps between northern and southern Europe. It will enable much of the traffic to be shifted from road to rail. One of two NEAT lines is the Gotthard axis including the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) in the east. The Gotthard Base Tunnel's length of 57 km makes it the world's longest railway tunnel. As a flat railway with gradients no greater than 10‰, the line will be used by passenger trains traveling at top speeds of 200 to 250 km/h and by heavy freight trains. The initial preparatory work for the GBT started in 1996; the tunnel is scheduled to be opened in the year 2015. The GBT consists of two parallel single-track tunnel tubes which are connected by cross passages every 312 m. Of the total 153.5 km of tunnels, shafts and galleries (Fig. 1), 113 km or 74 % was completed by July 2008. To shorten the construction time and also for ventilation purposes, the GBT is divided into five construction sections (Erstfeld, Amsteg, Sedrun, Faido and Bodio). The tunnel is being driven simultaneously from both portals (Erstfeld in the north, Bodio in the south) and from three intermediate points of attack (access tunnels at Amsteg and Faido and a shaft at Sedrun). The Sedrun und Faido sections each include a multifunction station (MFS). These stations contain four trumpet-shaped tunnel branch-off structures including two tunnel crossovers These stations consist of train switches to the other tube as well as emergency train stops that are linked with a side gallery. In an emergency case during the operating phase, the passengers can be evacuated through these side galleries.

The Multifunction Station Faido,Layout and Geology

The Multifunction Station (MFS) Faido lies at the end of an access tunnel within the construction lot Faido.

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