Previous Talk

New Railway Links through the Alps

The entry below is a synopsis of our speakers talk on 11th Aptil 2018.

A factual and very interesting presentation this week was given by Mr. Colin Cave (a club member) on “Antique Clocks & Mechanical Music” at this week’s.

Mr Dick Madeley who formally working at the RVI and Newcastle General Hospital as a diagnostic Biologist gave very interesting presentation this week entitled “NRLA”. Dick started by telling us that NRLA was “New Railway Links through the Alps” which started with the existing paths through the Alps used by people like Hannibal and his elephant’s, who travelled through the Gotthard pass which 6860 ft above sea level was thought to be impossible at the time.

The tunnels which were first constructed were quite high up to make it economically and physically possible, a road tunnel and then a rail tunnel but they had major problems with rock falls and snow fall/drifts because of the height up the mountain side they were constructed also the amount of hairpin bends on both the road and rail to gain height keeping the horizontal distance as small as possible was shown by photo shots still made it difficult for lorries.

A new twin Rail only tunnel was commissioned which would be much longer at low level and would be much larger than the others (35.7 miles) in order to take large containers and lorries on larger gauge railway units and double height passenger units took 17 years to construct and its maximum speed through the tunnel is 150mph but would be kept to 62 mph for freight and 124mph for passengers. The tunnels cost approx. £9 billion and were completed on time and under budget, the tunnels opened on 1st June 2016 and remain the longest tunnels in the world, many photos showing the construction were shown throughout the talk.

Questions followed on several points to conclude a very entertaining morning.

For further information Click on the link NRLA
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