First 275km/h Test Trip Takes Place in Ceneri Base Tunnel

The first test run with the top speed of 275km/h took place in the Ceneri Base Tunnel on the night of 30 April–1 May.

After test operations resumed on 20 April following strict adherence to the guidelines set by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), a new milestone was set when the first train test run at the top speed of 275km/h took place in the tunnel. Further test trips will be performed in the 15.4km base tunnel between Camorino and Vezia under the supervision of AlpTransit Gotthard AG (ATB) before the Ceneri Base Tunnel is handed over to SBB on 1 September 2020.

On 17 February the ATG received permission to start testing on 1 March 2020. The first test trips with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 took place a short while later. SBB also began testing the digital communication system GSM-R and the tunnel radio.

German ICE-S speed train in Ceneri Base Tunnel test
The German ICE-S train conducting high-speed tests in the Ceneri Base Tunnel

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, testing had to be interrupted in mid-March and new, revised test plans developed. Then, on 20 April 2020 ATG resumed testing in the Ceneri Base Tunnel under the strict adherence to the BAG requirements. The high-speed tests began on 29 April 2020. To perform these tests the specially equipped high-speed measuring train ICE-S was hired from Germany. During these high-speed tests the train speed was gradually increased. The first trip at 275km/h – the highest tested speed in the Ceneri Base Tunnel – was conducted successfully in the night from 30 April–1 May.

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