Joint Venture PORR and Rhomberg Bahntechnik starts track construction in the Koralm Tunnel

Joint Venture PORR and Rhomberg Bahntechnik starts track construction in the Koralm Tunnel

66 kilometres of slab track under the Koralpe: The delivery of the rails marks the beginning of the crucial rail infrastructure phase.

Bregenz/Vienna/Graz/Klagenfurt, 20th of October 2021 - The Koralm Tunnel is getting on track: The two Austrian rail technology specialists PORR Bau GmbH and Rhomberg Bahntechnik GmbH, together acting as joint venture "FF Koralm", have started with the rail technology infrastructure of the 34,1-kilometre-long section of the "Koralmbahn". The project is therefore entirely in the hands of the joint venture up to the commissioning of the connection between Carinthia and Styria in 2025.

"Now we can finally get started in our core competence and actively support the ÖBB in this prestigious major project," states a delighted Gernot Gassner, Managing Director of Rhomberg Bahntechnik in Bregenz. The joint venture partners are initially doing this from Styria, where the delivery of the long rails at the east portal marked the official start of the project. Gassner adds: "The 120-meter-long track sections will be connected to form one track so that we can move forward with the rest of the slab track construction by rail." It is expected that a first third in both tunnel tubes will already be completed by June of next year." And that includes the side paths, which we are also concreting directly in this work step," the Managing Director emphasises.

The team will move from the current construction office on the Styrian side to the east portal in Carinthia as early as May 2022, from where the remaining kilometres will be tackled. The slab track in the tunnel tubes and the portal sections is expected to be completed within 23 months.

Follow-up contract secured

Nevertheless, the work for PORR and Rhomberg Bahntechnik does not end there. The joint venture could secure the Koralm Tunnel follow-up contract "GU2-TA" just in July of this year. This means that PORR and Rhomberg Bahntechnik will also manage all further construction measures up to commissioning. The scope of the contract includes the entire rail technology infrastructure of the project, from all cable construction services to telecommunications, energy and safety technology, mechanical infrastructure as well as construction services such as breakthroughs and metal construction. The total investment volume amounts to 270 million Euros.

"We are extremely proud that the Slab Track Austria system developed by PORR is also used in this prestigious infrastructure project. The track construction in particular presents a special logistical challenge in the Koralm Tunnel. But with our decades of experience in tunnel construction as well as our internal network of experts, we can ensure that all project requirements are considered and implemented in the best possible way," says Karl-Heinz Strauss, CEO of PORR.

Specialists needed

At peak times, up to 130 employees will install slab track and mechanical equipment in the two tunnel tubes, lay cables, install safety technology, or organise construction processes in site management. All kinds of different trades will be working together, from tracklayers and electricians to foremen, engineers and planners as well as construction managers. One major challenge for the joint venture is currently the search for qualified staff. The rail technology specialists are therefore focusing their recruitment efforts on the immediate vicinity of the two tunnel portals, hoping to recruit both Carinthians and Styrians for this major project.