Traffic Control System Gotthard Tunnel put in operation


With only one tunnel tube, the 17 km long Gotthard road tunnel provides only one lane per driving direction. The traffic load is high, with high HGV volumes.

In order to better manage the flow of traffic, ten years ago SWARCO TRAFFIC SYSTEMS (then Weiss-Electronic GmbH) built a completely new traffic control. The evolutionary line control system allocates the vehicles to the appropriate driving lanes in front of the tunnel (“Dosieren”) or closes the tunnel in case of emergency. Arriving vehicles are metered so that always only a safe amount of vehicles are inside the tunnel at the same time. Heavy goods vehicles (HGV) are singularized by means of a so called drop counter (“Tropfenzähler”) so that they will not enter the tunnel in large groups. This is especially important in case of fire in order to prevent the spreading of the flames from one vehicle to another.

During several extensions in 2008 and 2010, more metering functions were added which increased the capacity of the tunnel. The emergency control was renewed.

In the current project called Increased efficiency Gotthard tunnel (“EffiGo”) the traffic control of the tunnel was again fundamentally adapted and is now completely integrated into the operational control level (“BLE”) of the territorial unit XI.

The MMI (Man-Machine-Interface) was newly developed and is now available as pure web application which can be started in any browser without further installations such as Java or ActiveX. The software architecture is slimmed down and independent of e.g. Java-Updates.

The GUI (graphic user interface) now has the consistent “Look & Feel” of all other connected systems on the operational control level.

GUI (Graphical User Interface) of the Gotthard road tunnel control system

Since the operating authorities are very content with the function and reliability of the traffic management system, the system’s core parts itself such as the functional logic of the system and the proven and tested functions such as metering and drop counting remained unchanged. Doing so, the system’s safety and usability were increased, the testing efforts reduced as a so called BZ Interpreter “translates” the old operation procedures into new ones.

By means of network nodes the system is connected to other systems such as fire alarm, emergency call, ventilation etc. and thus reacts even more precisely to incidents.

The GUI can be opened in a lose browser (e.g. IE 11, Chrome, Firefox) or within the framework of the operational control level. Additionally, the signal feedbacks and commands are exchanged between the traffic control and the operational control level, so that the operator can now have an overview of all connected systems and traffic controls.

The traffic computers were executed as virtual machine (with HyperV) and, if the hardware is to be exchanged, can thus be operated on any server. The servers used for communicating with the outstations were substituted with redundant communication computers remote bus (KRI2b), reducing consumption and maintenance.

SWARCO TRAFFIC SYSTEMS GUI on the right (signal plan) and BLE view on the left (signal overview)

Traffic center of the Gotthard road tunnel in in the maintenance depot Göschenen