PORR approached MineARC to manufacture and supply two ‘rescue train’ style refuge chambers that could be mounted onto MSD wagons.
The KAT3 section of the project involves the excavation of a 12km twin-tube tunnel beginning in Carinthia. Development of the south tube comprises conventional drill and blast excavation methods, for which MineARC has previously supplied a TunnelSAFE Standard Design chamber with blast resistance. However, the north tube of KAT3 is driven mainly by a tunnel boring machine (TBM) provided by PORR AG.
In November 2014, MineARC visited the southern state of Carinthia, Austria, to commission the two TunnelSAFE Rail Design refuge chambers. Ordered by TBM contractor PORR AG, the Rail Design chambers were built specifically for use throughout the KAT3 phase of the Koralm Tunnel Project.
About the Koralm Tunnel Project
The Koralm high-speed railway line will connect Carinthia and Styria’s Austrian regions, reducing travel time between their capital cities Klagenfurt and Graz, from three hours to less than an hour. The project, estimated to cost €11bn, includes 130km of double-track electrified line, 12 stations and stops, and a 32.9km-long tunnel – the longest in Austria to date.
The Koralm Tunnel will pass underneath the Koralpe mountain range, forming the railway line’s central section. The twin-tube tunnel will consist of two parallel monodirectional single-track tunnels, interconnected by cross-passages every 500m. An 830m-long emergency station will sit at the centre of the tunnel.
Engineering a Rail-Specific Refuge Chamber
Tailing the TBM throughout the project’s life, the TunnelSAFE Rail Design refuge chambers are coupled to small remote powered locomotives. Both can be controlled from within the MineARC shelter in an emergency.
They also feature MineARC’s unique Pressurised Access Safety System (PASS) and Positive Pressure Maintenance System (PPMS), designed to ensure safe entry into the refuge chamber and maintain positive internal pressure.
With KAT3 works expected to continue into 2020, the TunnelSAFE Rail Design Chambers will provide many years of safety support throughout the project. To read more about the Koralm Tunnel Project, click here.