Text and Photos Michel Azéma

Funiculars of Switzerland

Standseilbahn Sedrun

(photo Michel Azéma September 2000)
The longest railway tunnel in the world, 57 kilometers long, is actually under construction in Switzerland under the Saint-Gotthard Massif, between Erstfeld (Uri) and Bodio (Ticino)!
This is the Alp Transit Gotthard. Started in 1996, the tunnel will be opened in 2009!
France and Italy must take exemple of such a tunnel, this is the only way to solve the problem of the truck traffic thru the Alps and to avoid another tragedy like Tunnel du Mont Blanc in March 1999 (39 deaths) and stop the pollution of the alpine valleys.

A vertical access shaft has been sunk at Sedrun which is upright the middle of the tunnel. This one of the main access ways for the workers. A one cabin funicular railway was built to take the workers from their temporary camp to the construction site. It is an automatic lift with a free access even for the tourists.

Technical Datas

Type of funicular
Type of tracks
Lower station Las Rueras (1336,5 m)
Top station Camischolas (1400 m)
Length 150,4 m
Diff. of levels 63,6 m
Capacity  1 cabin of 25 pers. 
Speed 1,4 m/sec
1,258 m
AlpTransit Gotthard AG
Zentralstrasse 5

CH - 6003 LUZERN



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Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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