Tunneling Milestone Reached on World’s Longest Underground Rail Link Project

(UC) — The first major milestone has been reached during construction of the world’s longest underground rail link. 

Photo: Herrenknecht

The project consists of twin tunnels stretching 64 kilometers (40 miles) long connecting Innsbruck, Austria, to Fortezza, Italy in what is the largest European railway infrastructure project ever built.

Early in July, the first decisive breakthough marked the completion of the 16.7 km (10.4-mile) exploratory tunnel.

Nicknamed ‘Gunther’ after Tyrolean governor Günther Platter, the tunnel boring machine (TBM) manufactured by Herrenknecht, broke through on the Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT) “with pinpoint accuracy” according to Anton Ertl, the construction site manager.

The project is being run by the ARGE Tulfes-Pfons (ATP) consortium consisting of Austria's STRABAG AG and Italian contractor »webuild« (formerly Salini-Impregilo).

‘Gunther’ is one of six total tunnel boring machines ordered for the project.

For more information on the project, visit the Herrenknecht website.

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