THE 64km Brenner Base Tunnel linking Innsbruck, Austria, with Italy achieved a milestone on May 19 with a tunnel breakthrough to create a continuous 24.1km section linking Brenner on the Austrian/Italian border with the portal at Fortezza in northern Italy.

A diaphragm was removed separating the Lot H71 Isarco River underpass being built by Webuild and Lot H61 2-3 Mules being constructed by Webuild and Ghella on the Italian side of the project.

The ceremony deep inside the mountain was attended by Mr Nicola Meistro, senior executive vice-president, operations, with Webuild, Mr Pat Cox, European coordinator for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), Mr Gilbert Cardola, CEO Italy of BBT SE, Mr Martin Gradnitzer, CEO Austria of BBT SE, and Ms Anna Masutti, president of Italian Rail Network (RFI).

In addition to the main tunnels, the project calls for a network of 230km of tunnels and spaces, 151km of which have already been excavated. The deepest point of the network will be 1700m below the mountain range peaks.

The tunnel, which will be the longest railway tunnel in the world, is designed for the operation of 250km/h passenger trains and 160km/h freight trains and will form part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN-T Corridor.

For detailed data on rail projects around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.