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Mont-Cenis Tunnel

General Information

Name in local language: Tunnel du Mont-Cenis / Traforo del Moncenisio; Traforo ferroviario del Frejus / Tunnel ferroviaire du Fréjus
Other name(s): Fréjus Rail Tunnel
Beginning of works: 1857
Completion: 17 September 1871
Status: in use

Project Type

Structure: Tunnel
Function / usage: Railroad (railway) tunnel
Construction method: Manual excavation

Location

Location: , , ,
, , ,
Through:
  • col du Fréjus
Part of:
Coordinates: 45° 11' 39.82" N    6° 40' 7.65" E
Coordinates: 45° 4' 53.59" N    6° 42' 33.33" E
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Technical Information

Dimensions

number of tracks 2
depth max. 1 600 m
number of tubes 1
Initial construction
tunnel length 12 819.6 m
Extension
tunnel length 13 658 m

Cost

cost of construction French Franc 75 000 000

Annual Tunneling Progress

Year From Bardonnèchia From Modane
1858 285 m* 213 m*
1859 236 m* 133 m*
1860 204 m* 139 m*
1861 270 m 193 m*
1862 380 m 243 m*
1863 426 m 376 m
1864 621 m 467 m
1865 765 m 458 m
1866 813 m 212 m
1867 825 m 688 m
1868 639 m 681 m
1869 827 m 604 m
1870 889 m 746 m
Total 7 080 m 5 153 m
* manual excavation

Tunneling became more effective than purely manual excavation a few years into the project due to the invention of the jackhammer by Thomas Bartlett in 1855 which was improved upon by Sommeillier. They were powered by compressed air due to another invention by Daniel Colladon, a Swiss physicist. These inventions allowed the originally planned drilling time of 24 years to be reduced to 13.

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  • About this
    data sheet
  • Structure-ID
    20004586
  • Date created
    21/08/2002
  • Last Update
    01/04/2019