The Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) has awarded a €623m contract ATF consortium to construct the main central section of the planned 27.3km Semmering base tunnel (SBT).
The consortium includes Implenia, a Swiss construction and services company, and Austrian construction company Swietelsky. Implenia will serve as the technical lead.
Under the contract, both companies will jointly perform work on the 13km-long middle section of the SBT.
The SBT is a part of Austria’s new southern railway and links the country’s Lower Austria and Steiermark regions between the villages of Gloggnitz and Mürzzuschlag.
Expected to be built using both TBM drilling for 8.6km and mining methods for 4.3km, the section involves 26 cross-passages, an emergency stop station and two 400-metre ventilation shafts to supply the entire construction site.
The project is expected to face challenges such as dealing with the geological conditions in the drilling zone, building materials supply, excavated matter removal.
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On completion of the tunnel, the section will decrease travel time by half an hour for freight trains between Vienna and Graz.
Construction works have already begun, and are expected to continue for the next ten years.
Image: The Semmering base tunnel links the Lower Austria and Steiermark regions between the villages of Gloggnitz and Mürzzuschlag. Photo: courtesy of heiderklausner designagentur.