Brenner Base Tunnel: TBM Virginia Has Reached the Brenner
Jubilation among the miners and project representatives: TBM „Virginia“ reached the Brenner on 30 March 2023
Credit/Quelle: BBT SE
Since May 2019, the over 200-metre-long TBM had been working its way from the assembly cavern towards the Brenner Pass. By reaching its destination, part of the first main tunnel tube has been completed, in which trains will travel in the future.
The highlight was a live broadcast for the participants, who were able to watch the installation of the last concrete segment. For the occasion, the TBM operators had dyed the last segment with the Austrian and Italian national colours.
For the members of the Board of Directors of BBT SE, Gilberto Cardola and Martin Gradnitzer, the arrival of one of the TBMs at the Brenner Pass represents an important day for the entire project. “With the completion of the first excavation of the eastern main tunnel in Italy, the Brenner Base Tunnel achieves a fundamental goal. Special recognition goes, above all, to the TBM operators. The mechanised excavation within this section was carried out safely and the team did their utmost every day to ensure that the TBM would be able to reach the state border today. Our thanks also go to the planners, engineers, geologists and all employees of BBT SE who contributed significantly to this achievement.”
The Brenner Base Tunnel is a railway tunnel with a flat alignment connecting Austria and Italy and is regarded as the centrepiece of the new Munich-Verona railway link. It runs between Innsbruck (Austria) and Franzensfeste (Italy) over a length of 55 km.
The Brenner Base Tunnel is a tunnel system that extends over a total length of 230 km. To date, 157 km of tunnel have been driven: 60 km of main tunnels, 55 km of exploratory tunnels and 42 km of other tunnels.
The TBM’s Best Performances
The “H61 Mules 2–3” construction lot is the largest lot of the entire Brenner Base Tunnel project and comprises a tunnel system of approximately 65 km. During its journey within this lot, which started on 22 May, 2019, the Virginia TBM (total weight: 2750 t, engine power: 4200 kW) excavated a daily average of 10.2 m, with a maximum of 40.5 m in one day on 16 February, 2020. The record that set Virginia apart from all other machines of comparable cutterhead diameter (10.71 m), was set in March 2021. In one month, Virginia excavated an impressive 859.50 m
Contract Awarded for Construction Lot “H53 Pfons–Brenner”
A few days after the end of tunnelling for the TBM Virginia in the main tunnel east, BBT SE awarded the contract for the construction lot “H53 Pfons-Brenner”. Here, a consortium consisting of Porr Bau GmbH, Marti GmbH Austria and Marti Tunnel AG Switzerland won the tender.
With this award, the tunnel construction works of the last remaining construction lot of the Brenner Base Tunnel have now also been commissioned. The award sum for what is now the largest construction lot in the Austrian project area amounts to 959 million euros. The construction period for this tunnel section is scheduled for 70.5 months.
The construction lot “H53 Pfons–Brenner” comprises 25.2 km of main tunnel, which will be driven between the municipality of Pfons and the national border at the Brenner Pass.