The Semmering Base Tunnel becoming more expensive. Opening postponed to 2030

Semmering Base Tunnel construction: Credit: ÖBB_EbnerSemmering Base Tunnel construction: Credit: ÖBB_Ebner

The concrete lining has already been completed on a seven-kilometer-stretch.

The 27-kilometer-long Semmering Base Tunnel, which is being constructed by ÖBB-Infrastruktur between Vienna and Graz, will be significantly more expensive than expected. The opening date has been postponed, currently to 2030, the ÖBB Group announced on its website.

This is primarily due to the difficult geological environment that the builders have been dealing with for some time under the Grassberg mountain near Gloggnitz. According to ÖBB, the geological complexities have a significant impact on construction costs.

The “global wave of inflation”, ÖBB said, is also to blame for the rise. The originally estimated cost of €3.5 billion has risen to €3.9 billion as of today.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site in 2012. The actual construction started in 2014 after preparatory work. It was originally scheduled to be finished in 2026; the deadline has been postponed several times. The tunnel is being constructed from five locations simultaneously, with 23 of the total 27.3 kilometers excavated. The concrete lining has already been completed on a seven-kilometer-stretch.
The 230 km/h dual-bore tunnel will connect Gloggnitz in Lower Austria and Mürzzuschlag in Styria.

Its opening is intended to remove the bottleneck represented by the original 160-year-old line over the Semmering Pass on the southern corridor, one of the most used railway lines in the ÖBB network. The tunnel will cut the journey time between Vienna and Graz by half an hour.

Tagy Austria ÖBB-Infrastruktur Semmering Base Tunnel
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