South portal and Riethüsli stop
|traffic connection||Railway line Appenzell – St. Gallen – Trogen|
|Number of tubes||1|
|building-costs||63 million francs|
|start of building||2015|
|release||October 7, 2018|
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 .
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.
- Opening of the Ruckhaldetunnel: Tango with the population to the fullest in Eastern Switzerland on Sunday "from October 7th, 2018.
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