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ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG - Articles and news items

Austria’s Southern Line – the future of travelling and transport

Issue 4 2016 / 25 July 2016 /

The Southern Line in Austria is one of the largest and most spectacular infrastructure projects of the coming decade. Approximately 200km of railway lines will be modernised and 170km newly built. This will lead to the employment of 5,000 people during construction. In 2026 trains will travel from Vienna to Klagenfurt in just 2h40 and from Graz to Klagenfurt in 45 minutes. Covering a total of 470km, they will pass at high speeds through numerous new railway stations and through the Semmering and the Koralpe mountains. Franz Bauer, Member of the Executive Board at ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, provides more information about construction as well as the other benefits the line will bring…

The Semmering Base Tunnel: powerful and future-oriented

Issue 4 2015 / 6 August 2015 /

The Semmering Base Tunnel is one of the most important long-term large-scale infrastructure projects in the Austrian and European high-capacity route network. Through the 27.3km-long tunnel between Gloggnitz and Mürzzuschlag, a sustainable investment is being made in both Austrian and international rail transport. In the long-term, the Semmering Base Tunnel will not only relieve the ‘Semmering-Bahn’ UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also enable a faster, more attractive freight and passenger transport service – powerful and future-oriented. Gerhard Gobiet, Project Manager at ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, gives a construction overview of this huge project…

Accelerating infrastructure expansion in Austria

Issue 4 2014 / 5 August 2014 /

ÖBB – Austria’s leading railway enterprise – has for some years now been focussing on accelerating expansion of the infrastructure and has pushed investment to a record level. The result brings high-performance rail corridors with excellent connections to the neighbouring EU States, reduced journey times and modern stations which make rail travel attractive. Franz Bauer, Director of Infrastructure Provision and Member of the Executive Board at ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, explains further how Austria is setting new standards in its rail infrastructure and thus emerging as an important transport hub in Europe…

Signalling: Status of ETCS in Austria

Issue 2 2014 / 11 April 2014 /

When planning first began to implement ETCS Level 2 in Austria, ÖBB – the Austrian Federal Railways – was also faced with the challenge of creating and adapting its operational rules and procedures at that time. Therefore, in parallel to the technical projects for GSM-R, infrastructure and rolling stock etc., a project known as ‘ETCS-operations’ was started to define the ‘operational requirements for ETCS’ as a basis for the call for tender and also to close the gap between existing conventional rules and future ETCS rules and procedures. Beside this major task, this project was also responsible for defining how to work in a degraded mode, how to operate an RBC (Radio Block Centre) and how to handle failures.

Construction, maintenance and upgrading of tracks: the Austrian way

Issue 4 2013 / 1 August 2013 /

The liberalisation of European railways, particularly the free network access of passenger and freight traffic, have a basic influence on the construction of new lines and the maintenance and upgrading of tracks of ÖBBInfrastruktur AG. This article outlines the essential characteristics of track systems including track substructure.
Line layout and cross sections

Operating trains on a line that allows high speeds for passenger trains and low speeds for freight trains requires careful consideration about track alignment design. The maximum allowable values of cant deficiency (Imax = 130mm) and a max. cant excess (Emax = 110mm) enables expectable rail wear and reduced maintenance costs. A maximum gradient of 12.5‰ guarantees a load of 1,000 tonnes per freight train. A minimum radius of 3,000m enables a comfortable train speed of 200km/h, but 250km/h for trains with low axle loads is also possible.

The invention of the ‘Viennese Curve’ – a transition curve calculated for the centre of gravity of a vehicle – reduces lateral track forces and rail wear. In addition, this transition curve guarantees a full compensation of the rate of change of the lateral acceleration at the points of discontinuity – as a result, new and better passenger comfort will occur.

ÖBB’s approach to sustainable maintenance of infrastructure

Issue 4 2012 / 1 August 2012 /

Increasing route utilisation, higher transport tonnages, shorter train intervals and greater speeds are, from the customers’ viewpoint, the most important characteristics of Austria’s railway network, which highlights the need for further maintenance of the lines. Since 2008, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG has placed particular emphasis on the sustainable maintenance of its infrastructure and has implemented an entire package of focused measures.

The past: A specific characteristic of railway infrastructure and of the permanent way is the need for the construction elements to achieve the maximum possible service life, particularly due to the high investment levels involved. However, this service life can only be reached by an appropriately designed system backed up by a high level of maintenance. Depending on the traffic volume and the curve radius, the targeted service life of existing track systems is between 35 and 40 years. Unfortunately, in recent years, main tracks have had to be prematurely renewed. Decisions made in the past, which were not in favour of sustainability but were motivated largely by economic considerations, have had a disadvantageous effect.

ETCS for ÖBB: The beginning of a new train control era in Austria

Issue 4 2011 / 4 August 2011 /

After years of preparation and comprehensive calls for tenders from suppliers, Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has placed all orders for the implementation of the European Train Control System (ETCS). In February 2010 the final purchase order was placed, concerning system integration. During the past two years, a company-wide programme group has been working on the implementation of ETCS in Austria. This marks the beginning of a new era in automated train control and protection for ÖBB and is simultaneously a further step towards deregulated and efficient rail traffic throughout Europe.
Harmonised standards thanks to ERTMS

Due to the many differences in the historic development of national railways in Europe, various non-compatible train control systems have emerged (see Figure1). This circumstance has impaired cross-border traffic and poses a significant operational and economic obstacle for the railways, especially with regard to the European common market. The EU has therefore been keen to standardise and deregulate train services throughout Eu

ÖBB orders more electronic interlockings for marshalling yards from Funkwerk IT

Rail industry news / 13 September 2010 /

ÖBB Infrastruktur AG placed another order with Funkwerk IT for delivery of two further electronic interlockings of the Alister type for marshalling yards…

Route management and route maintenance

Issue 2 2010 / 5 April 2010 /

ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG was established in October 2009 following the merger of ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG and ÖBB-Infrastruktur Betrieb AG. Since the restructuring of ÖBB in the year 2005, both of these companies were operational subsidiaries under ÖBB-Holding. The interfaces between the two infrastructure companies, however, were too versatile. There were many overlaps and thus inefficiency, in particular with the maintenance and retrofitting of existing lines. The consolidation into one infrastructure company allowed ironing out overlaps and efficiently allocating assignments.