Oversized fans ventilate the world’s largest and longest railway tunnel
Mining Engineering, 2016, Vol. 68, No. 12, pp. 107-107
With up to 2,300 m (7,545 ft) of rock on top of it, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which is scheduled to go into regular operation in December 2016 in the Swiss Alps, is not only the world’s longest, but also the deepest railway tunnel ever built. Accordingly, the temperatures in the tunnel are very high, with the surrounding rock expected to reach 45° C (113° F) once the tunnel is fully operational. Since unrestricted rail operations are only permitted in temperatures of 40° C (104° F) or less, the heat has to be controlled with suitable equipment. Large fans developed and built especially for this application by TLT-Turbo GmbH provide fresh air for regular operations as well as during maintenance and repair work. Separate fans ensure that the emergency exits are properly ventilated in case of fire. In addition to coming up with a technical solution that could handle the special challenges of this project, the engineers and planners had to develop detailed preliminary plans as well as a sophisticated logistics and installation concept.
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