Alpine takes bypass tunnel on vital rail corridorJul 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Alpine, the Austrian subsidiary of Spanish tunnelling and civil engineering firm FCC Construcciones, is awarded the contract to excavate a 3.5km freight bypass tunnel along the busy Western Railway line in Austria.
Alignment of 3.5km Pummersdorfer tunnel and the 24km rail bypass of St Pölten in Austria
Project scope for Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), includes NATM excavation of the single-tube twin-track Pummersdorfer tunnel plus the laying of 9km of double track rail along a route identified by the European Union as Priority Project 17 (PP17). The design specification is for a shotcrete-lined tunnel with an excavated cross section of 120m2.
PP17 also includes the construction of a new high-speed rail line between Stuttgart and Ulm in Germany. With half the 127km alignment in tunnels, the project is aimed at improving east-west rail transit times along the Paris-Strasbourg-Stuttgart-Vienna-Bratislava corridor.
By creating a freight rail bypass around the Austrian town of St Pölten passenger trains will be able to run more frequently, improving journey times along Austria's busiest rail line.
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St Pölton bypass lies on strategic EU rail corridor
The portal structures at the eastern and western ends of the tunnel have already been completed, and the mined tunnel is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. Two smaller tunnels will also be constructed along the alignment as part of a separate contract.
The new 24km bypass, plus associated realignment of the A1 highway and construction of the link with the existing Western Railway track at Wagram and Rohr, is scheduled for completion in 2017.
The entire project cost, covering the four-track development of the Western Line between Vienna and Salzburg, the rail bypass along the St Pölten-Loosdorf corridor, and associated construction and bridge building work is estimated at €850 million (US$1.05 billion). Alpine's contract to excavate the Pummersdorfer tunnel and prepare the ground for a further 9km of ground level track is valued at €80 million (US$98 million).
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