Gotthard base tunnel the longest railway tunnel in the world operating with Polycom radio system


Gotthard base tunnel the world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel, Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated in the first week of June. It uses the Polycom radio communication system, which is based on Tetrapol technology from Airbus Defence and Space. Due to the tunnel’s length of 57 kilometres, a secure and stable radio communication system is vital to coordinate the work of emergency services in the event of a technical failure or fire incident.

The police, first responders and ambulance services use the system in the Gotthard tunnel, along with firefighters and Swiss Federal Railways rescue trains. Polycom is a secure nationwide radio communication system for public rescue and safety organisations as well as for operators of critical infrastructures. Polycom covers Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


Before the inauguration, the two single-track tunnels were equipped with the Polycom system. Each tunnel tube has a Polycom radio communication system consisting of two overlapping cells for both tubes. Each cell works independently and is based on nine radio transceiver stations. Coverage in the tunnel is ensured by a radiating feeder cable that receives the radio signal from two directions. This makes communication possible on both sides even if parts of the system were damaged by fire.

Trains run at high speed through the tunnel which is located up to 2,300 meters below the surface and took 10 years to build. The Gotthard Base Tunnel system connects Northern and Southern Europe and is the heart of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA).

The construction of the tunnel is managed by AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, while engineering, installation and commissioning of the Polycom system was managed by Atos Switzerland.


Source: Sam Fenwick-TETRA Today

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About Tim Cosgrove

Tim Cosgrove heads two technology companies Co-Star and Cloud-Star who supply 4G LTE connectivuty products to the ICT industry globally and are based at Harrogate in the UK. Working at the forefront of the mobile communications industry gives Tim a unique perspective on the latest emerging technologies that help to improve how businesses and people communicate and operate in the future. Tim is keen to share his insights and passion for the latest technologies through the Co-star blog. Please get in touch if you have any technology related news or press releases that you would like us to share.