In July 2019 OEBB will hand over its plans for the further development of the new Lower Inn Valley railway to the transport department for the environmental impact assessment. This railway line is the northern feeder route to the Brenner Base Tunnel and forms part of the European TEN-T network (Line 1, Berlin-Palermo). OEBB will inform the public of the plans in three project exhibitions.
After around three years of preparatory work, the documents for the further development of the new Lower Inn Valley railway are complete. The OEBB planning department has performed a detailed assessment. In addition to performing an ecological inventory, a drilling programme and geophysical examinations, Austrian Federal Railways has also sought to engage regularly with the people of the region.
In 2018 the region’s residents were able to view the documents for the 20km new line between Schaftenau and Radfeld. Following intensive discussions, many improvement suggestions were incorporated in the plans. After in-depth checks by experts, the ideas put forward by the population have significantly enhanced the project, says OEBB.
The noise protection measures along the new Lower Inn Valley railway must adhere to the standards of the coming years. To future-proof this aspect, OEBB has consulted project-specific standards as the basis for calculations. These take into account the environmental situation as well as the topographical conditions of the Inn Valley. Residents along the new railway line will benefit from significantly improved noise protection.
The open construction pit for the new railway tunnel in Kundl has been moved westwards, away from the residential area, by around 100 metres. Consequently, the local population will be less impacted by the construction activities. Furthermore, the direction of work of the tunnel-boring machine has been altered. As a result, the area of the building site will be smaller.
Due to altered technical framework conditions regarding tunnel safety and the course of the railway line, OEBB examined an alternative route in Angath. It found that the best option is a tunnel. OEBB will no longer consider the original plan, which was an open route around Angath. The environmental impact study will look at an underground rail line.
The construction site in Angath will link directly to the existing motorway. As a result there will be no construction traffic through the residential areas of Angath. Furthermore, the shortened transport routes will keep air pollution in the Lower Inn Valley to a minimum.
The planners at OEBB have optimised the tunnel opening in Langkampfen several times, extending it to around one kilometre. This solution has the least impact on the landscape. It also further reduces the amount of space used and the amount of traffic noise caused.
In the environmental impact assessment will include the continuation of the railway project towards Kufstein. This future expansion forms part of current planning considerations.
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