Ceneri Base Tunnel tested to 275km/h (170mph)

The new Ceneri Base Tunnel, in Switzerland, has now been tested to 275km/h.

The tunnel is the fastest single-bore tunnel using Furrer+Frey’s Rigid Overhead Conductor-rail system.

The single-track, 15.4km long Ceneri Base Tunnel has had high-speed tests running since April 20th 2020.

On May 1st, at 03.30am Deutsche Bahn’s High Speed ICE-S test train successfully reached the speed of 275 km/h.

From the May 13th onwards, the tests with the extended ICE-S and two pantographs spaced at 200m are running. Ceneri Base Tunnel is part of New Railway Link through the Alps project.

Since the construction of a pilot project in Zurich-Opfikon in 1984, Furrer+Frey has continuously developed its Rigid Overhead Conductor-rail System.

In 1996, 140 km/h and in 2003 160 km/h were achieved.

The leap into the high-speed range was achieved in 2008 with 250 km/h in the double-track Sittenberg tunnel in Austria.

In 2016 it was also possible to prove that two pantographs could be installed only 31 m apart at this speed.

In 2017, the ICE-S succeeded in a journey at 302 km/h – a world record for an overhead conductor rail. With the successful tests in the single-track Ceneri base tunnel, Furrer+Frey is now the first company to have a conductor rail system that allows speeds of 250 km/h and more in both double-track and single-track tunnels.

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Photo credits: Furrer+Frey