The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) project engineers working on the new Lower Inn Valley line awarded themselves an early Christmas present in late 2010, with the application, at Radfeld on December 3, of the final consignments of concrete for the new rail tunnel, thus completing the shell of this 32 km long double-track underground link between Kundl and Baumkirchen.
The new Lower Inn Valley line is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2012, its completion signifying for the clients reduced rail noise, greater carrying capacities and, in particular, the capability of further expanding passenger traffic in the lower valley of the River Inn.
Tunnelling 24/7 since August, 2003
Work on the tunnel for the new line started in August, 2003. Ten sections were excavated and concreted, with work continuing virtually around the clock. Subsidiary engineering works included thirty-five escape shafts, more than 10 km of escape galleries, transverse tunnels and various access adits. The ÖBB engineers used practically all contemporary tunnelling methods for this project. The new Lower Inn Valley rail line is one of Europe‘s most modern.
Demanding project lot at Radfeld
Work on the Radfeld Tunnel has been under way since April, 2008. This sector involved the excavation of a trench 16 m wide, 1600 m in length and up to 15 m deep. Divers were deployed to secure the trench against the ever-present groundwater by means of massive concrete slabs. The tunnel workers have in the meantime been busy concreting around 20 m of this rail tunnel each week. The 800 m long cutting at Radfeld completes the tunnel structure. ÖBB constructed a temporary bridge over the B171 highway to assure the safe and trouble-free passage of construction traffic to and from the site.
Installation of rail equipment proceeding at full speed
The equipping of the new rail tunnels is now going ahead at top speed, in order to be sure of meeting the tight completion schedule. At present, 1 km of track is being laid every week; dozens of companies are also working in parallel on the installation of safety and control systems, including no less than 2,200 km of cabling, equivalent to around fifty-five individual cables running in parallel from Kundl to Baumkirchen.
All work on schedule
The new Lower Inn Valley rail line is scheduled to open in December, 2012, and will provide Austria‘s transport industry with new, environmentally friendly rail capacities. Residents and companies situated near the existing line can now look forward to a significant reduction in noise levels, particularly at night. The project will also make it possible to further expand local passenger transport services in the Lower Inn Valley.