Modern railway infrastructure is a prerequisite when it comes to making mobility- and transport systems sustainable, and a vast number of ongoing ÖBB-Infrastruktur building projects right in the heart of Europe are doing just that. Work on the Brenner Base Tunnel is well underway. This railway tunnel connects two EU different countries: Austria and Italy. Including its junction at the existing railway bypass in Innsbruck, the tunnel is 64 kilometres long, which means it will be the longest underground rail link in the world. Work on the “Pfons-Brenner”, which is the Tunnel’s largest building lot, officially began on 1st July, and with it, the Brenner Base Tunnel’s southernmost construction site on the Austrian project area. The Rail Cargo Group is the one bringing supplies to the building site – and in an eco-friendly way. The first supplies will be transported mid-July. It will begin with up to 630 tonnes of sand and gravel being transported on a daily basis from the Schönwies gravel quarry in Tyrol directly to the construction site. From September, block trains with 17 wagons will be delivering supplies each day. That means 1100 net tonnes of building materials will be delivered in an environmentally friendly way every single day; by the end of the year, it should amount to up to 60,000 tonnes of supplies transported.
Three railway sidings for the environment
On site, sand will be converted to shotcrete in order to secure the adits. The direct industrial siding is what makes this possible; it was already being planned to support the project of the century in 2007, and was completed in 2016. The industrial siding branches off into three tracks just before reaching the Brenner line, and leads directly to the logistics area of the building lot. Transporting all the sand from the gravel quarry by truck would have required 4,500 truckloads – and that in the Tyrolean Wipp Valley, where the large volumes of transit traffic are already taking their toll. It is great that we can provide an environmentally friendly solution which saves 246 tonnes of CO2.