January 15, 2013

ÖBB unveils alignment for HS line

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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AUSTRIAN Federal Railways (ÖBB) has published plans for a 250km/h line to link Salzburg and Köstendorf to relieve congestion on the parallel Salzburg – Vienna main line and provide an alternative to the tortuous Salzburg – Steindorf section.

The majority of the 20km line will be underground to assuage local opposition to ÖBB's original proposals.

The line will have two tunnels: the 2km Leitnerbauer tunnel on the outskirts of Salzburg and the 14km Seekirchner tunnel which will be up to 120m deep.

The total cost is estimated at €1.65bn and ÖBB hopes to start construction in 2024. However, an earlier start date is possible if the province of Salzburg agrees to provide a share of the funding.

Completion of the project in 2032 will result in a 5-minute reduction in journey times for long-distance trains and release capacity for a more frequent S-Bahn service on the existing line between Salzburg and Steindorf. ÖBB also plans to lay a third track between Köstendorf and Steindorf by 2020.

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