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EXCITING: Austria's Koralm Tunnel Witnesses its First Passenger Train Test Run

EXCITING: Austria's Koralm Tunnel Witnesses its First Passenger Train Test Run
photo: Chris Zenz / ÖBB/Austria's Koralm Tunnel Witnesses its First Passenger Train Test Run
13 / 06 / 2023

In a significant stride towards Austria's future of transportation, a passenger train traversed the 33 km long Koralm Tunnel, between Graz and Klagenfurt, for the first time. This test run represents a monumental milestone in the 15-year construction saga of the twin-tube Koralm Tunnel.

By the end of 2025, the tunnel will enable passengers to travel at speeds of up to 250 km/h, offering a comfortable, quick, and eco-friendly connection. The Carinthian section between Klagenfurt and St. Paul im Lavanttal is set to operate even earlier, by the end of 2023.

The maiden journey through the tunnel was a celebratory occasion graced by regional dignitaries, including Peter Kaiser, Governor of Carinthia, Christopher Drexler, Governor of Styria, and Judith Engel, Member of the Board of ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG. Engel remarked, "With the Koralm Tunnel, we are connecting Styria and Carinthia in a new quality. In two and a half years' time, passengers will already be travelling relaxed through the middle of the Koralpe – environmentally friendly and in less than an hour from Graz to Klagenfurt. In this way, we will literally replace the car and create the mobility of the future." Kaiser echoed her sentiment, heralding the Koralm Railway as a "new lifeline" set to transform mobility behaviour and revitalize regions.

As part of the new southern line, the Koralm Railway is considered one of Europe's most crucial infrastructure projects. It encompasses 130 kilometres of new track, 47 kilometres of tunnels, over 100 bridges, and 23 modern stations. Once operational, the railway will provide a quick 45-minute connection between the provincial capitals, thereby bolstering economic and residential spaces and drawing Styria and Carinthia even closer together.