Expert know-how and special equipment to facilitate new masts in record time – about 900 masts are planned by the end of 2019
While modifications to existing routes and stations are part of the daily business in the Railway Technology business field, re-electrification projects are rare in a country like Austria with its well-constructed railway network. As a result, the commission that EQOS Energie recently won from Austrian federal railway provider Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) is all the more exciting: The Gailtalbahn railway line in Austria’s southernmost state of Carinthia is to be re-electrified in the section between Arnoldstein and Hermagor. In two construction phases lasting just a few weeks each, the EQOS Energie experts will erect about 900 masts for the new catenary line on the 31-kilometre route.
Since railway operations have to be interrupted during construction, mainly so-called driven pile foundations are used which can be built significantly more quickly than the classic concrete foundations. EQOS Energie provides experts with the necessary know-how and two highly specialized pieces of equipment: With a piling implement, the prefabricated piles which serve as foundations for the catenary line masts are driven into the ground. Then the catenary line masts are erected with a specialised crane vehicle. On average, 10 to 15 workers are continuously working at the site.
The line will be non-operational from 9 July to 11 November 2018 and from 8 July to 14 December 2019. Electric railway traffic between Arnoldstein and Hermagor will resume in mid-December 2019 as planned. The entire foundation and mast construction work must be performed during the focus stages during the summer months of 2018 and 2019 as early as July, since work on the catenary lines will start immediately afterwards. Due to this tight schedule, precise planning is crucial.
“The greatest challenge during the re-electrification of a single-track railway line such as the Gailtalbahn lies in logistics, because everything during the two short construction phases has to be transported to the site and away from it on the line itself without any alternative. Therefore, perfect planning and a detailed work programme is indispensable, including where the materials are stored, how they are delivered and when the special equipment is to be deployed. Thanks to our experienced expert teams, we will be able to implement this challenge in record time,” said Bernhard Schuller, head of the Railway Technology business field at EQOS Energie.