4,100 truck journeys were saved thanks to rail transport. ÖBB Rail Cargo Group transports the new casing of the Swiss highway tunnel

Karel Novak, Published on 30/06/2022
4,100 truck journeys were saved thanks to rail transport. ÖBB Rail Cargo Group transports the new casing of the Swiss highway tunnel
@ÖBB/Mühlanger

Since April 2021, 20 wagons loaded with segments for a highway tunnel have been rolling from Tyrol to Switzerland once a week. The total volume of the future-oriented end-to-end transport is 60,000 tonnes.


This project is implemented by ÖBB Rail Cargo Group on behalf of the Katzenberger company. Specifically, it involves the transport of tubbings, i.e. prefabricated concrete segments (outer shells) that are used for stiffening in tunnel construction. Special flat wagons are used to transport the segments. The wagons are loaded with 5 stacks of 13 tonnes each of the 5-meter-long and almost 2-meter-wide concrete parts. Therefore, special loading devices in the form of saddle-shaped supports integrated into a steel frame were also necessary. Between the layers, there are specially made wooden supports. A gantry crane is used for these.

@ÖBB/Mühlanger
@ÖBB/Mühlanger

The smooth transport of the segments requires intensive preparatory work so that everything runs smoothly during the loading process and when securing the components. Moreover, these are just-in-time transports, which poses an additional challenge. In dispatch, the wagons must always be provided for loading on Wednesdays and Thursdays due to the limited infrastructure and personnel resources. In addition, ÖBB Rail Cargo Group, as an end-to-end transport logistics partner, is also responsible for transshipment and truck on-carriage of the segments. This means that the project is managed from the booking request to the delivery to the final location - from the first to the last mile.

@ÖBB/Mühlanger: Stefan Kizlink, Managing Director Katzenberger, and Gottfried Eymer, Member of the Board ÖBB Rail Cargo Group at the loading point of the segments.
@ÖBB/Mühlanger: Stefan Kizlink, Managing Director Katzenberger, and Gottfried Eymer, Member of the Board ÖBB Rail Cargo Group at the loading point of the segments.

"We were awarded the contract for the production of the segments. Environmentally friendly transport, if possible from a single source, was central for us from the very beginning. The elements are produced in our precast concrete parts plant in Jenbach and are intended for the renovation of the Kerenzerberg motorway tunnel in Filzbach in the canton of Glarus in Switzerland. The motorway section of the A3 is getting on in years and needed to be rehabilitated. We are pleased that we were able to gain an extremely reliable and competent logistics partner for the transport in the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group," says Katzenberger Managing Director Stefan Kizlink.

"We are very proud that our long-standing partner, Katzenberger GmbH, is also relying on the expertise of ÖBB Rail Cargo Group for this major project. As the leading multimodal rail logistics provider in Europe, we bundle the synergies of rail and road, with a clear focus on sustainable rail. There are no limits to the type of goods. The transport of segments from Tyrol to Switzerland is a perfect end-to-end example. Loading onto the low-floor wagons takes place directly at the factory using a gantry crane. After the long-distance transport by rail, the last mile is handled by truck directly to the construction site. Everything is organized by the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group from a single source. Both the economy and the climate benefit from these complete solutions," says ÖBB Rail Cargo Group board member Gottfried Eymer.

Preparations began as early as spring 2020, and on 7 April 2021, the first segments were loaded in Jenbach for transport to Weesen in Switzerland. The transports are to be completed by the beginning of 2023. In total, the train now departs once a week with 20 loaded wagons from Jenbach station in Tyrol in the direction of Switzerland. With a total order volume of around 60,000 tonnes being transported to Switzerland by rail in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, the traffic-plagued Tyrolean population also benefits, as in total this means around 4,100 fewer truck journeys (incl. empty journeys) being transported by road.

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