ETM made software called PVSS, and it was renamed to WinCC OA when ETM got bought by Siemens.
The previous Siemens software, WinCC, was the victim of the Stuxnet worm. Hopefully ETM's is a bit more secure!
This is public knowledge, not insider information:
I skipped through some of the slower-paced sections, and mostly just gawked at the machinery.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) is a railway tunnel through the Alps in Switzerland expected to open on 2 June 2016.
- Length: 35.4 mi
- Cost: $10.3 billion
- Construction: 1996 - 2016 (est)
The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California.
- Length: 4.46 miles
- Cost: $6.5 billion
- Construction: 2002 - 2013 (est)
I also would be very surprised if the Germany/Switzerland were "outsourcing" the job to Chinese companies like the US does with big infrastructure projects. I mean everybody who ever dealt with outsourcing up close knows what in reality it is completely opposite to "cost savings", instead it is a way to "digest" even more money than it would be otherwise.
Also, comparing salaries of those countries is just ridiculous, as Swiss salaries can be 2-3x higher on average than the German ones.
You have to remember that tunnel jobs are almost always run by a municipality which means that they're almost always union. I would imagine it is similar in Switzerland.
Tunneling is a niche industry and commands a high price.
Length: 34 mi
Cost: $11.5 billion
Construction: 2007 - 2025 (est)
Now only if the US can match this and finally get that bullet train network up and running...
It looks like straight forward rock tunneling to me. The alps have good rock that the industry has a lot of experience mining through. Don't get me wrong, the length is impressive but the diameter (10m) is not crazy nor is the ground bad.
The project has been in construction for 20 years. For comparison: the Golden Gate Bridge took 4 years. The Hoover Dam, 5 years. The Burj Khalifa, 5 years.
If you read my comment history you'll realize that I work in the tunneling industry. I have designed, inspected, or helped construct large diameter hard rock tunnels, small diameter soil tunnels, and everything in between.
It is quite impressive nontheless.
And, as impressive, it's still on schedule and on budget.
Stopping trains there interferes with traffic too much.
yet the linked list of the worlds longest tunnels lists two longer metro tunnels in china
Makes some sense; a metro tunnel with stations every kilometer or so will not feel like a single tunnel, even if it was engineered as one.
I'm used to constantly hearing stories like the "Big Dig" here in the US, sometimes it seems like every non-trivial civil works project fails massively fail on both criteria.
source (in German): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neue_Eisenbahn-Alpentransversa...
Also coming from software engineering. 30% over budget is just impressive. I would love to be capable of such accurate planning.
The final bill is expected to be between 23 and 23.5 billions CHF instead of 24 millions CHF."
1. Safer travel on rails instead of trucks (accidents & environmental)
2. Faster transport between regions (saving 1 - 1.5 hrs)
Safety will become almost a non-concern with self driving cars. Work still needs to be done to minimize environmental impact, but electric cars are coming on strong.
Faster transport times will be a tougher sell when we are actually free to be productive when traveling. With an automated driving system, vehicles become offices/lounges.
Self driving cars don't completely address these concerns, but they make the $10 billion price tag hard to justify. I'm not saying this project isn't justified, I just love examining the impact self-operating vehicles will have on our future.
With existing intermodal systems, there's already something somewhat resembling electrified long-haul heavy trucking, though largely in Europe. For various reasons, the US has little electrified freight, and doesn't forsee it for the forseable future, though it's clearly technically feasible.
There are several other possibilities for electrified freight, though battery-EV is almost certainly out of the picture. IIRC BMW have experimented with a battery-powered EV tractor-trailer, but it's used exclusively for local delivery at low speeds (~40 kph IIRC) at a range of ~5-10 km. A very limited pilot.
Self-driving cargo vehicles capable of "training" on highways, with catenary or similar feeds, could offer long-haul separable vehicle cargo capacity. I'm not aware of any serious plans for such a system though, and it would require both massive investment in vehicles and roadways.
Present planning at the US EIA is for natural gas fueled cargo -- both truck and rail.
Also: productivity in the office > productivity in a train >> productivity as the passenger in a car. I say that as someone who commutes about three hours a day by train and Uber.
I'm sure very few people tried to commute across this section of the Alps by car before this.