WORK IS nearing halfway stage on one of four tunnelling packages on the 28km Lotschberg base tunnel in the Swiss Alps.
A consortium of Balfour Beatty, Swiss contractor Marti Tunnel, German contractor Walter Gruppe and Austrian firm Porr is undertaking the project.
The £180M package includes a 10.2km bored section of the eastern running tunnel that is nearly half finished and a completed 5.2km long bored section of the western running tunnel and its 3.3km long spur.
The team is now driving the 4.9km long section of the western running tunnel between the southern portal and the spur using drill and blast techniques.
The tunnel will be used to take traffic between Germany and Italy off the roads and on to rail wagons as they pass through Switzerland.