Workers - nothing functions without them

Workers - nothing functions without them -

More than 1,300 men were engaged on the building of the Albula Tunnel between 1898 and 1903. Now, over 110 years later, technology has developed to such an extent that we employ between only 50 and 80 people at the Preda and Spinas ends.

Twenty-four-hour shift operation involves four teams of five workers tunnelling in each direction. Each team consists of the following:

One team leader
Two tunnellers
Two machine operators

Tasks can be reassigned individually within the team, as each skilled member is trained to carry out all the functions involved, operate all machinery to the required standards and handle explosives safely.

Other specialists and skilled tradesmen are likewise available on the construction site. They are trained and qualified to deal with the following tasks, among others:

  • Vehicle maintenance and repair

  • Conveyor-belt maintenance

  • Preparation and mixing of concrete

  • Laboratory analysis of excavated material

  • Administrative tasks

  • Landfill management

  • And much more


Worker accommodation is provided at the Preda end, in the form of a temporary "Portakabin village", where all workers are entitled to their own room. This is likewise an aspect that has changed somewhat since the construction of the first Albula Tunnel, when certain shift workers had to put up with "hot bedding" in communal dormitories.

Today's workers have a recreation room at their disposal, along with a 23-hour canteen with opening times scheduled to coincide with the corresponding shifts.

The excavated material will be recycled

The excavated material will be recycled

The freshly excavated rock is to be evaluated in the tunnel to determine its characteristics, and assigned to a class of materials. It is then to be transported to the handling facility in Preda, where the material is to be offloaded and placed in interim bunker storage before being sent to its final destination.

The construction site

The construction site

Work is being done on your behalf in Albula. The original Albula Tunnel is coming to the end of its useful life, and now needs either extensive repairs or complete rebuild. After examining in detail the alternatives, the RhB took the decision in 2010 to build a completely new metre-gauge railway tunnel, and convert the existing structure into a safety tunnel.