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Stuttgart to 21 Swiss

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CHUR. During the conflict to "Stuttgart 21" continues to escalate, making in Switzerland and the Rhaetian Railway to worry about a major infrastructure project. The five km, Albula summit tunnel, the central building in the Grisons route network between the Upper Rhine and Engadine is, after a hundred years of operation has become decrepit. The track will replace it with a parallel new tube. This could also prevent monument and environmentalists. Have much influence on the project, far more than in Swabia. For the Rhaetian Railway is decorated with a particular title: it is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

And committed to this title. Many traditionally-minded Swiss want out of respect for the world heritage rather know the renovated old brick single-track tubes with their elaborate historical tunnel portals and restored. The Rhaetian Railway, the ordinations of UNESCO had received "increased sensitivity" to be considered with the historic preservation issues in transport projects, confirmed a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office of Culture.

A preliminary decision in October. Then I will utter the Federal Commission for Conservation in a report a recommendation. How this goes down, whether for or against a new concrete pipe, like no one can predict the parties.

A restoration of the existing Albula Tunnel, which is 1899 to 1903 in 1,800 meters, 1,000 meters, was built under the peaks for Erwin Rutishauser, head of the Rhaetian Railway, a shocking idea: several years would operate on the major highway Chur – St. Moritz limited by the renovation works or even interrupted – with significant consequences for the traffic development of the mining and talreichen Canton and particularly for tourism.

More than three-quarters of the year, eleven million passengers are tourists from all world. The famous Glacier Express passes on its cross-Alpine journey from St. Moritz to Zermatt as the Albula tunnel as the Bernina Express, which celebrated its anniversary this year and down for a hundred years to the Bernina glaciers passing over the pass rolled up into the Italian Valtellina. A business that is dazzling, with double-digit growth rates. "It gives me great joy, how well the trains are busy," said Rutigliano.

to lock the Albula Range – unthinkable for him. Why does the train in Chur, the chief alternative to the tunnel rehabilitation prevail and allow a completely new building just 30 meters next to the Altröhre arise. Meanwhile, the trains could continue for the time being in the tunnel today, would still hold as long as the. And with 250 million Swiss francs estimated construction is only slightly more expensive than the costly renovation.

Train would not be viable without government cash injections

With words of criticism directed at the preservationists are holding back Rutishauser nonetheless. Not only because he is proud of the title conferred two years ago as World Heritage. Only two other tracks, in Austria and India are on the 900 sites globally comprehensive World Heritage List. The railway chief is also president of the association Unesco World Heritage Rhaetian Railway, the NGOs and the municipalities belonging to the railway line.

From the double function out of the car chief argued: "The world heritage we have been awarded in the knowledge that we are a modern railway museum and not a train." Whether trains, stations, routing, engineering structures, "We have to train to develop so that we do for our customers an attractive offer and attract additional new customers."

With a network of nearly 400 kilometers and about 1,350 employees, the Rhaetian Railway largest employer in the Grisons. It is a public company, almost one hundred percent owned by the canton of the Swiss Confederation and the municipalities.

Here, the "path of the Grisons," as she calls herself, a company that without strong financial injections of the state would not be viable. The transport division achieved a cost recovery rate of 60 percent, said the train manager. The revenues were however increased in recent years by 25 percent, not least because the public owner invested in the modernization of the fleet. to stabilize the positive trend, Rutishauser sees as the real challenge of his car.

Intentional, to ensure the Rhaetian Railway and freight transport in the canton. Wood, cement, oil, but also mail, food and waste are organized largely by rail. Rutishauser, "In the freight, we are exposed to tough competition from the road, but we have high customer affinity, because we travel 365 days a year reliably, especially in winter.."

In the mountain railway, the state owner to make substantial investments every year to maintain the network. The Group’s infrastructure division infected annually the equivalent of around 100 million € in the maintenance of lines – around ten million euros more than it makes passenger in annual sales. For the Albula Tunnel is just one of many building projects: over 100 additional tubes and nearly 600 bridges demand with an average age of 85 years at a price.

The Rhaetian Railway is just as it pays tribute to the Unesco world heritage, "a masterpiece, created by a synergy of politics, economy, technology, culture and nature."