Helping people reach their destination faster, relocating freight traffic from the streets to the railway and reducing emissions. With these aims in mind, the Brenner Base Tunnel will open up completely new dimensions. It runs from Innsbruck (Austria) to Franzensfeste (Italy) across 55 km. It also joins the existing Innsbruck railway bypass. When adding this line, the Alpine breakthrough has a total length of 64 km, and is therefore the world’s longest underground railway connection. Compared to the old Brenner Railway with its inclines and descents, the tunnel lies flat, which is set to increase both speed and capacity.
The project is managed by the Trans-European Networks (TEN) concept for transport, energy and telecommunications. Part of the optimised transport network includes the North-South axis with the Brenner Base Tunnel. It connects urban hubs along the route to Scandinavian harbours and the Mediterranean Sea – a driving force for the European economy.
Two main tunnel tubes, each with a diameter of 8.1 m and running alongside each other at a distance of 70 m, form the centrepiece of the construction of the century. They are both being equipped with single tracks for one-way traffic. Cross-cuts used as evacuation routes connect the two main tunnel tubes at distances of 333 m. Emergency stations provide additional safety. Four lateral access tunnels lead to the ground surface level, while additional connection tubes create further connectivity. An exploratory tunnel with a diameter of at least 5 m is located 12 m below the main tunnel tubes and to their centre. The tunnel predominantly serves the purpose of mountain research. Upon completion, it will also be used as a service and drainage tunnel. Prof. Konrad Bergmeister, chairman of the public limited company according to European law BBT SE created especially for the project, emphasises: “The overall length of all these underground routes will total 230 km – this, too, is an absolute world record”.
fischer heavy-duty fixings were used in numerous completed and active construction lots, including the Tulfes-Pfons construction site. The companies Salini Impregilo and Strabag are responsible for the execution of the section currently under construction. A further example includes the already completed construction lot Wolf, which the bidding consortium Swietelsky/Swietelsky Tunnelbau was awarded the contract for. Both sections are located in Austria.
“fischer solutions won the client over because they fit the designs while also being economic, high quality, durable and easy to use. These are decisive arguments, particularly on demanding construction sites such as the Brenner Base Tunnel”, emphasises Manfred Rabl, the responsible Technical Advisor in the field at fischer Austria GmbH. Reinforcement rods, guide rails, formwork elements, holding fixtures for supply lines, and many more were securely and firmly installed with fischer fixing systems. The fischer injection mortar FIS SB was also used, amongst others. It achieves an extremely high load level in non-cracked concrete and dries quickly, enabling variable anchoring depths for a reduced installation time, while also requiring fewer materials. In the Brenner Base Tunnel, the FIS SB serves the creation of reliable rebar connections in the partitions of the cross-cuts. It is also used with various threaded rods, for example in order to fasten the rails of the formwork carriage.
For temporary fixings, the contractors also used the high performance fischer ULTRACUT FBS II concrete screws. They are extremely easy to install, highly flexible thanks to their three screw-in depths, and are suitable for multiple applications, such as formwork construction, for example. Practical nail anchors by fischer are also being used for temporary fixings.
fischer’s fixing systems allow all fixtures to be reliably installed while saving time and costs, increasing both the construction progress and safety of the Brenner Base Tunnel.