Ruckhalde tunnel

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Ruckhalde tunnel
Ruckhalde tunnel
South portal and Riethüsli stop
use Railway tunnel
traffic connection Railway line Appenzell – St. Gallen – Trogen
place St. Gallen
length 725 m
Number of tubes 1
Client Appenzell Railways
building-costs 63 million francs
start of building 2015
completion 2018
operator Appenzell Railways
release October 7, 2018
North portal 744957  /  253256
South portal 745534  /  253001

The Ruckhaldetunnel is a railway tunnel in the Swiss city ​​of St. Gallen . It is 725 meters long and replaces a steep section of rack and pinion on the St. Gallen – Appenzell railway line operated by the Appenzeller Bahnen . After two and a half years of construction, it was opened with a folk festival on October 6, 2018.


The meter-gauge railway line from St. Gallen station via Teufen to Gais was opened on October 1, 1889, and its continuation to Appenzell on July 1, 1904. The line has been electrified since 1931. A special feature was the 940 m long rack section between the St. Gallen freight station and the Riethüsli stop, which overcame a height difference of around 80 meters and an average gradient of 90 ‰. The 180 ° curve on the Ruckhalde was the narrowest gear curve in the world with a radius of 30 m and was considered a pioneering technical achievement at the time.

A tunnel project to replace the last section of rack and pinion on the St. Gallen – Appenzell railway line was drawn up in 1970 and approved by the federal government in 1976. However, due to differences of opinion about the route, it could not be implemented. The merger of four railway companies to form Appenzeller Bahnen in 2006 brought new momentum to the matter. A diameter line (DML) was planned, i. H. the linking of the St. Gallen – Appenzell and St. Gallen – Trogen railway lines . In order to be able to offer a quarter-hourly service between Trogen and Teufen, the journey time had to be shortened, for which the replacement of the rack section was essential. This also enables the use of new ABe 8/12 low-floor multiple units in adhesion operation .

After this project and other projects related to the DML had been submitted to the Federal Office of Transport in autumn 2011 , the funding shares were approved by the parliaments of the cantons of St. Gallen and Appenzell Ausserrhoden in November 2012 , and by the regional municipality in April 2013 from Appenzell Innerrhoden . The single-lane Ruckhalde tunnel is 725 m long; According to the planning status in November 2015, it will cost around CHF 63 million . It dips into the north slope of the Ruckhalde, has a slope of up to 80 per thousand and comes to the surface again in the Riethüsli district, where a new stop was also built.

After various preparatory work, the official groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 4, 2016 at the north portal . The drive was carried out southwards using the mining method, while the area around the south portal was constructed using the open construction method . After a little more than 15 months, the puncture took place on July 20, 2017. The old route over the Ruckhaldekurve was shut down on April 2, 2018 and then dismantled. Until the start of scheduled operations on October 7th, there was a replacement train service between the St. Gallen train station and Riethüsli .

Artistic design

The Ruckhaldetunnel has a special artistic design. One of the walls of the tunnel is decorated with a 700-meter-long graffiti mural using airbrush technology, which depicts an alpine procession with herdsmen and animals in a stylized form . The street art artist Pirmin Breu was inspired by the rural painting of his homeland in the neighboring Appenzellerland and started work in July 2018. The work of art was presented to the public as part of the tunnel opening on October 6, 2018. The 250 figures can be seen from the passing trains.

Web links

Commons : Ruckhaldetunnel  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Opening of the Ruckhaldetunnel: Tango with the population to the fullest in Eastern Switzerland on Sunday "from October 7th, 2018.
  2. REKORD: Ruckhalde curve is a pioneering technical achievement. St. Galler Tagblatt , January 8, 2018, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  3. Thomas Baumgartner, Alexander Liniger: The diameter line Appenzell – St. Gallen – Trogen. (PDF, 1.1 MB) Eisenbahntechnische Rundschau , April 2014, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  4. Green light for building the diameter line. Tüüfner Poscht, April 28, 2013, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  5. St. Gallen: advance of the Ruckhalde tunnel stalled. Schweizerische Bauzeitung , May 9, 2017, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  6. ^ Groundbreaking ceremony in the Ruckhalde. (PDF, 140 kB) Appenzeller Bahnen , April 4, 2016, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  7. The breakthrough is done. Swiss Radio and Television , July 20, 2017, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  8. Ruckhalde curve: it ends after 129 years. Radio Top , April 2, 2018, accessed August 9, 2018 .
  9. Alpine lift through the Ruckhalde tunnel. Swiss Radio and Television , July 21, 2018, accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  10. Alpaufzug improves the Ruckhalde tunnel. FM1 Today , July 18, 2018, accessed August 9, 2018 .