Tunnelling starts for Austria's longest rail linkJul 2011
Strabag News Release
Excavation of Austria's Koralm railway tunnel started officially this week. Margit Fischer, the wife of Austria's President, described her role as tunnel sponsor as a prestigious task before setting off the blast that marked start of tunnelling works.
The tunnel is the main section of the new Koralm railway link to be built between Graz and Klagenfurt. At 32.9km long, the twin tube tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in Austria and one of the longest in the world. A €570 million contract for its excavation was awarded in October 2010 to Strabag, as the technical and commercial leader of the KAT2 JV. Working with Jäger Bau, construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.
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The large majority of the tunnel, some 20km, will be excavated using two 9.93m telescopic shield TBMs on order from Aker Wirth. A particular technical challenge is that access to the underground works is only via a 60m access shaft near Deutschlandsberg in southern Styria. The first blast this week starts excavation of the access shaft. The two TBMs are scheduled to launch in October 2012.
Approximately 300 invited guests attended the start of excavation ceremony, including representatives of Strabag and Jäger Bau, as well as numerous politicians and guests of honour. The new 130km Koralm railway line will be part of the future link-up of southern Austria to the trans-European rail network.
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