Linthal 2015 is Europe’s largest alpine construction site. The underground pumped storage power plant in the Swiss Canton of Glarus pumps water from Limmernsee back up to the Muttsee located 630 m higher. Here the water will be used again to generate electricity. The massive logistics underlying the construction project become clear when transporters suspended from cables pass by. The cableways used here are not only the strongest of their type in the world, they also serve as the major construction site’s primary supply route. At the end of 2013 an underground cableway will connect the base station with the machine cavern and will allow the transport of heavy parts such as turbines and transformers. From November 2010 until March 2012 a 160 m long tunnel boring machine worked around the clock to construct an access tunnel in the mountain. In retrospect, a project likely worthy of a world record: The 3.8 km long tunnel has inclines of up to 24%.
Connecting up the mains power supply is also a demanding job. A total of 65 electrical towers are being constructed where otherwise only practiced mountain climbers dare to go. Like a massive construction kit, the manufacturers deliver the individual parts to the base station in Tierfehd. From here a helicopter transports them to their intended locations. The workers then assemble the up to 89 m high towers up in the mountains. To protect them against the harsh conditions, some of the towers need to be mounted on massive concrete foundations – another logistical challenge at this altitude.
Implementing such an innovative project as Linthal 2015 along with the pumped storage power station under construction demands flexibility and absolute reliability. The same also applies to the vans used. Regardless of whether humid, high-altitude air, tight spaces or broad valleys, after numerous quality tests the new Sprinter has proven itself to be the ideal companion for one of the most spectacular construction projects of our time.