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Delays in the completion of the Semmering Base Tunnel. Completion is scheduled for 2030

Delays in the completion of the Semmering Base Tunnel. Completion is scheduled for 2030
photo: https://www.vikendi.net/2022/04/15/completion-postponed-again-semmering-base-tunnel-not-until-2030//Delays in the completion of the Semmering Base Tunnel. Completion is scheduled for 2030
20 / 04 / 2022

The commissioning of the Semmering tunnel of the Koralm Railway, previously planned for the end of 2025, was postponed until 2030 after a thorough assessment of the project's structural, technical, and geological aspects. It made it clear that the construction period would be extended due to the interference zone in Grassberg during excavation work in Gloggnitz.

As a result of the investigations, it was decided to take additional measures to overcome the delicate fault zone in the Grassberg area, where there is a complex rock structure characterized by completely different rock layers. As a result, the work will take several months longer, and the basic Semmering tunnel startup will be delayed. The special measures introduced in 2021 will be extended until it can be crossed safely through the fault zone using excavators and blasting.

The extension of the tunnel's construction time, in turn, entails an increase in its cost. It is due to both technical problems and the increased cost of construction materials and energy owing to the global head of inflation, exacerbated by the war that Russia has unleashed in Ukraine. Construction costs are expected to be EUR 3.9 billion, an increase of about EUR 360 million.

It is known that about 23 kilometers of the 27.3 kilometers of the two-pipe tunnel have so far been covered (about 85%). The new southern line will shorten travel times and increase their comfort level. For example, the trip from Vienna to Klagenfurt will be about 40 minutes faster (3:20 h), from Graz to Klagenfurt in 45 minutes (instead of the current 2 h by bus).

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