Brenner breakthrough links Italy and Austria

20 May 2022

A 24.1km stretch of the 64km Brenner Base Tunnel has been created with the breakthrough between two lots yesterday.

The breakthrough of a diaphragm separating lots H71 Isarco River Underpass being built by Webuild, and Mules 2-3, being built by Webuild and Ghella, has created a tunnel from the southern portal at Fortezza to the Brenner.

Once completed, the Brenner Base Tunnel will connect Fortezza in Italy with Innsbruck in Austria, creating the world’s longest railway tunnel.

Image Credit: Webuild image library

In addition to the main tunnels which will accommodate high-speed/high-capacity trains, the project involves a network of 230km of tunnels and spaces, 151km of which have already been excavated. The deepest point will be 1,700m below the mountain range.

The tunnel, which will allow passenger trains to travel at speeds up to 250km an hour and cargo at 160km, is a key part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) which will connect Helsinki in Finland and La Valletta in Malta.

Image Credit: Webuild image library

The breakthrough milestone was marked with an official ceremony attended by Webuild senior executive vice-president operations Nicola Meistro, European co-ordinator for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Pat Cox, BBT SE chief executive (Italy) Gilbert Cardola, BBT SE chief executive (Austria) Martin Gradnitzer, and Rete Ferroviaria Italiana president (Gruppo FS Italiane) Anna Masutti.