“it is every Morning in a traffic jam,” says Gabriele Guidicelli and shows on the map the edge of the Swiss Jura mountains, where the A1 and A2 motorways meet. “Since the last crawl wagons in a row, clogging completely the right lane,” complains the man. And this is just one of many critical transport hub in Switzerland, and now the threat of a standstill. Because: “The Transport of goods will increase up to 2030 by more than 40 percent,” says Guidicelli. The 55-Year-old wants to prevent the collapse with a revolutionary transport recipe.

engineer Guidicelli is working in his office in Basel, to banish the freight of his country from the site, and to relocate underground. He is the technical Director of the project “Cargo Sous Terrain”, in English: “the goods of the earth”. A project of superlatives: the Initiative wants to build through the entire Swiss Mittelland, the densely populated economic heart of Helvetia, a gigantic Tunnel, 450 kilometers long. For the mobility of tomorrow. With a fully automatic network delivery.

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if you like, you can walk the kilometers-long Tunnel to pass through.

©Statens Vegvesen manufacturer The next civil-engineering-challenge

By the Mega-tube to the goods between the centres of the Alpine Republic transported: bananas and computers, frozen pizzas and auto parts, diapers, and beer boxes. Hardly the confederates have penetrated the Gotthard massif and with a length of 57 kilometres the longest Tunnel in the world opened, so an even greater engineering challenge.

The country of the confederates, it seems, could soon be full of holes like a Swiss cheese. “We have to build the competence, underground way,” says Guidicelli and smiles. In a wide arc from southwest to northeast between the Jura mountains and the Alps of the new Tunnel is to extend, where there is already on long-distance road and rail, the largest flows of goods lines flow: from Geneva via Lausanne, Bern and Zürich to St. Gallen. It should be from this main axis side trip to Thun, Basel and Lucerne. “A connection to the South of Ticino, is not provided,” explains the Basel project Manager, “that’s what the new Gotthard Tunnel, the our Partner SBB Cargo uses.” This is for the freight transport subsidiary of Swiss Federal Railways.

20 to 50 feet below the Central plateau, the new cave system, a tube that is six meters in diameter. In its Interior, so the Plan is to supply cabins on wheels, with two pallets can be equipped. Each of these vehicles will be electrically powered and induction supplied with energy. It will move schienenlos and automatically, alone or in a convoy. A speed of 30 miles should not be exceeded in an hour, so that the Transport remains the most energy-efficient. Three tracks are targeted, depending on the direction of a and in the middle a more for Overtaking or for service work in the gallery. In addition, transport to the ceiling cable cars small. Everything is controlled digitally. Along the route about 80 additions are planned. There, the goods can be brought to the surface or to the bottom, the elevators are the moving cabins in the Delivery Vertical.

The concept has to deal with a high environmental claim: landscape, conserving groundwater zones, Eco-energy use, noise, avoid, neither fine dust and nitrogen oxide emit. “However, all this would be of little use if we arrive at the top again in the old world,” says Guidicelli. “Therefore, we must develop an intelligent logistics system.”

It is also important to distribute the goods to the end customer in the Region as environmentally-friendly and effective as possible, such as with electric cars, optimized routes, and simultaneous pick – up of empties and waste entrainment.

How serious is it to the man and his comrades, Cargo Sous Terrain, shows the list of participating national and international companies and investors. The largest Swiss retailers, Migros and Coop, Swiss Post, Swiss Federal Railways, the Zurich cantonal Bank, national companies in the logistics and tunnelling technology, the German software manufacturer SAP even Virgin Hyperloop One with power. The Californian high-tech company itself is planning a private underground transport system.


The machine ‘Heidi’ breaks through in the Gotthard base tunnel.


The high-profile consortium wants to make sure that this concept will disappear in the drawer, as other similar sounding ideas of the past. A number of Visionary dreaming, for example, by air empty capsules to shoot them full of travel, fun people-pumped underground Pipelines. Also in Switzerland there was this idea: In the ‘ 70s, the Lausanne-based engineer Rodolphe Nieth suggested that in vacuum a magnetic cushion floating train from Bern to Zürich lawn. In 15 minutes, the Swiss metro should create a good 100-kilometre-long route. But the project was buried. Alone, the energy required for the operation of vacuum required would have blown up all the dimensions.

in spite of such concerns, Virgin Hyperloop One developed, based in Los Angeles currently, even bolder plans for a people-tube post, The company is working for years, one day cabins with 1200 kilometers per hour through Pipelines to send under pressure.

down-to-earth and reality suitable

When one reads of such fantasies of Americans, appears to be Cargo Sous Terrain is downright Swiss down-to-earth and reality fit. The recipe for this practice is simple and is called: only goods in the underground, not people. In this way, the technical and economic effort can be for a Tunnel limit. Then, the tubes usually have a smaller diameter, and you don’t have to be for high speeds, the safety requirements are lower.

there is also in Germany, long a similar Plan as in Switzerland, however, much smaller. Dietrich Stein, Professor Emeritus of the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany and Director of the company Cargocap, has invented a transport alternative. By underground pipes with an inner diameter of a maximum of 2,80 meters, the civil engineer wants to leave, especially in urban areas, booths with goods on Board to. The small Pipe diameter makes not only a engkurvige installation possible, but also ensures that the construction is relatively inexpensive. Because the routes only a few meters below the earth’s historyen should, in addition, numerous above-ground Loading and unloading stations. Currently, the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Bergisch Gladbach interest in stone concept. The construction of an eight-to ten-Kilometer-long Cargocap-route of a cargo center at the motorway up in the middle of the city.

The Swiss to advance, meanwhile your tunnel project. Already in 2016 the Federal Council to support the Initiative with a law decided, under the condition that the first 100 million francs would have to be provided. Since January of this year, the investors have deposited the sum. Now the Cargo Sous Terrain, people are waiting for the Parliament creates the legal basis. Only then will the local approval can be initiated.

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And of course you will deal with critics of the project, the fear, for example, that the auto Transport truck will make a driver be unemployed. “New jobs in the operating company of the tunnel,” says project Manager Guidicelli. In addition, the top do not worry is already underground logistics system for the transport of goods will disappear completely from the street.

If everything goes smooth, it should be the first ground-breaking ceremony for the Cargo Sous Terrain 2024. In the year 2030, then the first part of the route between Härkingen and Zurich, would go into operation. The municipality of Härkingen is located on the busy highway triangle that showed Guidicelli on the map. The Post the center of your largest package and in the proximity of Migros is its logistics center. Almost 70 kilometers long, the tunnel will be up to the state capital, for the equivalent of three billion euros. After that, the Rest is to be built,

2045 is expected with the completion of the complete cargo catacomb. Cost: 30 Billion Euros. The sum should apply to the private sector, not the taxpayer. After all, the investors have calculated that they will retract soon after the opening of the tunnel profits. Gabriele Guidicelli will not get to experience the completion of the tunnel as a project Manager. 2045 he will enjoy his pension. As a privateer he hopes then to be able to the year one thousand building to marvel at.

The Text originates from the P. M. magazine. You can find more information here.