Engineering & Consulting

Loetschberg base tunnel

The Loetschberg base tunnel is a part of the new alpinie rail links built between Switzerland and Italy. The tunnel is 34.6 kilometers long and started commercial operation in June 2007.

Safety Case and Authorisation to Operate 
Control system of Loetschberg base tunnel

Prior to commercial operation, BLS AG had to apply for the authorization by the Swiss Federal Office of Transport to operate the Loetschberg Base tunnel link. BLS AG contracted ENOTRAC to co-ordinate and run this process. This included:

  • RAMS plan according to EN 50126
  • Identification of safety requirements
  • System description and planning of the demonstration of compliance
  • Integration of subsystems as part of the demonstration of compliance process
  • Validation at the overall systems level
  • Presentation of the demonstration of compliance to the Federal Office of Transport
North portal of Lötschberg base tunnelzoom
Lötschberg base tunnelzoom

Following the successful commissioning of the Loetschberg base tunnel, a comprehensive program for the optimisation of maintenance was launched for this complex project, which considered past experiences of the first operational years. The sensors installed in the cross-passages and interconnections of the Loetschberg base tunnel caused significant expenditure (technical failures and false alarms). ENOTRAC analysed the existing alarm systems (fire, gas, temperature and water level) in the cross-passages and interconnections and their influence on the overall safety of the tunnel and compared it with the latest state of the art. Recommendations were made for the replacement of the existing central control system and a new alarm concept.. ENOTRAC supported BLS AG in the tendering process for the new control system. ENOTRAC carried out various RAMS-analyses (e.g. fault tree analysis) to verify that the planned modifications achieved the same level of safety, reliability and availability. The step by step replacement of the existing control system by the new system was carried out with the tunnel in full commercial operation, over a time period of several years. ENOTRAC successfully managed and supported the verification and validation process in accordance with EN 50126 and EN 50128.

Operating center Mitholzzoom
Low-voltage switchboard in a crosswayzoom
Topology of the instrumentation and control technology of the Lötschberg base tunnelzoom

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