Tracks meet each other

The tracks are parallel and for Euclid, should never meet each other. It happens, however, that there are people who seem destined to cross them in every new professional challenge. One example is Martina Martegani, profession: civil engineer.



Fresh from her studies, Martegani had played an important role in the realization of the Alp transit project, first following the events of the Gotthard base tunnel, then dealing with that of Mount Ceneri. Now she is working for Galli Engineering and the world of the railway has returned to cross her career.


If you want to know the progress of the New SBB Workshops in Castione, you should ask her, we tried, but above all we wanted her to tell us how she is putting to good use, an important experience gained when she was less than thirty years old. 

How did you come to choose to devote yourself to engineering?

“My father is an architect, so designing and the construction world are a reality that I have known at home since childhood. In addition, I have had the opportunity to travel and I have always been fascinated to discover the technological solutions that each community has developed to live and move.”


Where did you study?

“I am originally from the province of Varese and I graduated with a second level in Civil Engineering, Road Infrastructure Orientation, at the Politecnico di Milano in 2012. In this case, too, experiences abroad have been very formative. From Erasmus in Valencia to a course in Brussels on road safety, I was able to train in an international context. After graduation I went also to Haiti to support a volunteer project for the construction of an aqueduct, I was with my future husband. Also an engineer.”


How was your debut in the world of work?

“I responded to a request for maternity replacement in Alp transit for the construction of the Gotthard Base Railway Tunnel. I was suddenly thrown into Faido, in the world of a big construction site, this meant living there 24 hours a day. It was not easy because, being of mother tongue Italian, I had to deal with a working environment where you spoke mainly German. 


In the first months, I was Assistant Project Leader Coordination and Safety. Then, again in 2013, my role became that of chief project manager for the Railway Technical Project. It was an incredible experience; I took part in the construction of one of the largest underground infrastructure in the world. We were in charge of the commissioning of the tunnel, i.e. the testing of the facilities and the tests on the railway infrastructure which also worked at night. I was among the first to travel on high-speed trains inside the tunnel. It was a period of intense work, learning, professional satisfaction but also personal emotions.” 

In 2016 the Gotthard was completed, but Alp transit continued to excavate.

“Yes, I moved to the construction site of the Ash Base Tunnel. In Camorino, I was Assistant Project Manager Building Raw - Railway Technology.

It was an experience that lasted until 2020 but before that I lived in a less intense way than that of San Gottardo because in 2017 I went on maternity leave, I went back to work and then I had my second child in 2020.”


Men are never asked, but women are always asked: How do you combine work and family?

“The important thing is to be organised, and being an engineer helps. Certainly it is necessary to have the availability of a flexible company that allows you to work part-time and to manage the work with good autonomy.”


After Alp transit the landing at Galli Engineering. However, the trains remained in your work.

“Yes, we currently support the general project manager in interfacing with the heads of the three divisions that are planning and will operate in the future railway plant of Arbedo-Castione.”


Professionally, what’s the news of this new assignment?

“It’s the first time I can follow the birth of a project from scratch, starting from the acquisition of the land and the evidence to future memory. It is mainly a coordination job, managing meetings and production of documents that serve to carry out the authorization dossier. It is fundamental work, because, if done correctly, it facilitates the implementation phase, avoiding future changes and respecting the implementation timeframe. It is a matter of taking into account the needs of different sectors from plant engineering to handling, up to the joints, and integrating them with the regulations. We need to produce hundreds of papers and it is essential to have the ability to coordinate, analyse and summarise.”

Details of the new arbedo-castione railway plant


According to the industrial plan of the new railway plant of Arbedo-Castione, presented in December, will be realized a total investment of 580 million Swiss francs, instead of the 360 million initially previewed, and about 360 employees and 80 apprentices will be employed.


The new plant will replace the old workshops in Bellinzona is expected to be operational by the end of 2026.


The city of Bellinzona also contributes CHF 20 million, and the canton of Ticino CHF 100 million. The additional costs of the total investment will be borne by the SBB.


In Arbedo-Castione, as announced by SBB, the “light and heavy maintenance, including the machining of components”, will be carried out.

The new plant will maintain 54 Flirt TILO compositions, 29 Giruno compositions and 19 Astoro compositions. Every day, at least 26 vehicles enter the plant, the SBB writes.


After the new plant has been assessed by the Federal Office of Transport in the first months of 2022, plans are expected to be published in the Arbedo-Castione municipality in the second half of April and in the municipalities affected by the compensation for the current agricultural land of crop rotation (SAC). It will be an opportunity for SBB to hold a public exhibition of the project, in particular to answer questions from residents and stakeholders.