Arlberg Tunnel: 37 new Escapeways
At the end of 2010 the ÖBB recommissioned the 10 km long rail tunnel with 2 tracks after completing 8 evacuation and rescue ways leading to the parallel running Arlberg road tunnel The costs involved amounted to 210 million euros. In the process, the clearance profile was enlarged by lowering the tunnel floor and a permanent roadway suitable for emergency vehicles installed.
Now the ASFINAG intends investing some 136 million euros between 2014 and 2017 to improve safety in the single bore road tunnel. This includes 37 new escape and rescue facilities between the road and the rail tunnel as well as an air intake duct on the tunnel ceiling. In this way endangered persons can safely reach the protected premises set between the 2 tunnels. The evacuation route will be no more than 500 m as opposed to the current 1,700 m. At the same time, all electric systems (video monitoring, emergency call and radio, fire alarm and lighting) will be modernised together with the power supply, extinguishing water line and emergency call bays. As the safety installations will not be available at times during the construction of the new escapeways, it is intended to close the road tunnel completely on 2 occasions – but outside the winter months. ⇥G.B.