The new Albula tunnel is officially open

The Rhaetian Railway (RhB) celebrated the official opening of the new Albula Tunnel.

More than 300 invited guests from the rail industry as well as politics, business and tourism enjoyed the opening celebrations held at both ends of the new Albula tunnel.

The 5,860-meter-long new tunnel was built over a ten-year construction period parallel to the existing old tunnel and is connected to it by 12 cross connections.

The total project costs are CHF 407 million (EUR 420 million). After operations in the new tunnel begin, the old Albula Tunnel will be converted into a safety tunnel.

The first scheduled train ran through the new tunnel on June 12, 2024.

Why a new tunnel?

The Albula Tunnel between Preda and Spinas was opened in 1903 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An assessment of the condition of the more than 110-year-old Albula Tunnel in 2006 revealed a serious need for renovation and a significant amount of catching up to do in terms of safety: more than half of the 5,864-meter-long tunnel tube is in poor condition and needs to be renovated.

After carefully examining the “repair” option on the one hand and the “new construction” option on the other, the Rhaetian Railway decided in 2010 to build a new tunnel.

The decisive arguments for this were the relatively small difference in cost, hardly any timetable-related restrictions during the construction phase and the significantly higher level of safety of a new facility.

In addition, the new construction ensures high quality and is advantageous in terms of sustainability. The Albula Tunnel Line is regarded as one of the most spectacular rail routes through the Alps.

The Rhaetian Railway climbs up the Albula Valley 1,820 meters towards St.Moritz from Thusis via the Landwasser Viaduct and through helical tunnels.

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