The works carried out by ARGE Alptransit Brenner, of which Rhomberg Rail is a joint venture partner, are still going according to plan and are entering the final phase.
After successful installation of the ventilation, pumping and fire extinguishing systems, the integration tests of the radio control system and tunnel cleaning remained in the western section. All these works were officially due on 22 December 2011, when the final handover of the western section to the Austrian Federal Railway (ÖBB) and the trial operation in this section successfully took place.
The last parts of the eastern section such as the logistics passageways were fitted with a variety of mechanical and technical systems and the final gap in the slab track was closed on 16 December 2011. This highlight in the construction phase ensured that the whole of the Lower Inn Valley railway line was ready for operation.
The remaining tasks are the installation of the power supply systems by Arge Alptransit Energie (contract A2), which after the eastern section will be ready for commissioning.
Electrical installations (contract A2) passes half-way mark
The installation of signalling, telecommunications and energy supply systems has reached the half-way mark and still continues in good spirit.
In October last year, the complete western section, consisting of 37 structures spread across an approximate distance of about 17km of track, was successfully commissioned and brought into operation. Arge Alptransit Energie is on an interim basis responsible for operating all installed systems until the final handover to the ÖBB in December 2012, as subsequent operator.
So far, all systems operated perfectly during the integration tests. When considering the extremely limited time in which tasks needed to be completed, it was reassuring to note that the power supply and everything necessary for bringing the mechanical and technical systems of contract A1 into operation as well as the overhead line equipment of contract A5 were all completed well on time.
The works on the eastern section have also been running according to schedule since September 2011, after an intensive period of preparation.
Rhomberg Rail is looking forward to see a successful and on-time completion of contract A2 as scheduled for July 2012.
Overhead line equipment (contract A5) also passes half-way mark
In less than ten months, all acceptance inspections concerning overhead line equipment installations on the western section were satisfactorily completed. This entailed the installation of about half of all the overhead line equipment on the entire Brenner North Approach line. Some of the main activities in the 17km tunnel section were surveying, drilling and the installation and fitting of over 6,000 components and some 40km of cable and catenary installations.
The works on the eastern section have also been running at full speed with the foreseen completion of the 17km tunnel section by mid-2012.
Rhomberg Rail is proud to report that all three of the major contracts on the Brenner North Approach line are still running smoothly and will be completed on time.