German tunnel boring company makes presentation on north-south rail link

A German company, considered a world leader in tunnel-boring machinery, discussed on Monday how 21st-century technology can make the proposed north-south rail link economically viable in Boston.

Herrenknecht AG has played a role in major tunnel projects around the world, including the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a 35-mile-long train passage through the Swiss Alps that is the world’s deepest and longest of its kind.

Two Herrenknecht officials, including its chief engineer, Werner Burger, addressed the North South Rail Link Working Group along with elected and former elected officials at the State House.

The rail link between North Station and South Station has long been suggested as a key improvement to the region’s commuter and subway rail services. But the project has not attracted the political support or funding needed.


Governor Charlie Baker has backed a feasibility study for the rail link but has said he believes spending on repairs and upgrades to the MBTA’s existing infrastructure is a better use for state transportation funds.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.