The BERNARD Gruppe is part of a planning consortium for the renovation of the Karawanks railway tunnel. The project comprises the refurbishment of the tunnel lining, as well as modernization work. The tunnel was equipped with continuous escape routes, fire protection and communication facilities. The route optimization also contributes to increase train frequency by making higher train speeds possible, which means that more trains can travel through the tunnel than before.

On July 29, 2021 the Karawanks railway tunnel between Rosenbach and Jesenice was reopened after a 10-month construction period. The Austrian-Slovenian project enables freight transport in the north-south connection from Germany via Austria to the Mediterranean ports in Greece and back. Passenger trains between Villach and Jesenice also use the tunnel. Trains now travel through the tunnel at around 120 km/h, twice as fast as before. After the modernization of the tunnel, the track bed is now located in the middle of the tunnel to guarantee sufficient space for the necessary control and safety technology and to make higher travel speeds possible. In this project, the BERNARD Gruppe prepared the permit application and detailed design of the tunnel modernization and of the access routes in cooperation with Geoconsult and Geoportal. For the construction of a second tunnel tube, we are in the phase of tunnel concept definition, alignment design and preliminary study.

Peter Kastner, BERNARD Gruppe