Authors: M. Virano, G. Dati, M. Ricci & G. Avataneo
TELT possesses a collection of original documents concerning the original Fréjus Rail Tunnel. By using them as a guideline, this paper reconstructs the history of the Fréjus tunnel, showing that it has plenty of lesson to teach us.
The elements presented include: Cavour’s closing statement during the parliamentary debate; The affair of the Fell Railroad, which warns us that new technologies have often an unforeseeable impact; The digging of the tunnel, whose completion was made possible by the development of the pneumatic perforator; The follow-on impact of the tunnel, which led to the digging of several other transalpine connections and which caught the eye of the public, leading to the construction of the so-called “Bogorama”.
As TELT digs the new Mount Cenis Base Tunnel, we can look back at the history of the first tunnel to cross the Alps as both an example and as a learning experience.