THE first of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) excavating the 27.3km dual-bore Semmering Base Tunnel in Austria has completed its work with tunnelling now 80% complete.

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) says that the 125m-long 1800 tonne TBM has completed its work in the Fröschnitzgraben Ost construction phase after covering more than 8100m in two-and-a-half years. ÖBB says around 500m remains to be excavated in the second bore by a second TBM and this is expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year. Work is now underway on installing the lining of the concrete inner shell in the Fröschnitzgraben section.

Excavation of the €3.3bn 250km/h tunnel is taking place at five points. It will connect Gloggnitz with Mürzzuschlag by bypassing the sinuous mountain section of the Semmering Line. The tunnel is expected to open in 2027 after it was delayed by a year due to geological problems in the northern section.

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