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voestalpine turnouts and rails for the Gotthard Base Tunnel

25 May 2016 | 

The Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, at 57 km in length the longest railway tunnel in the world, will be officially opened on June 1, 2016. voestalpine has played a key role in the realization of this record-breaking project of SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) right from the start: As a capital goods group with a clear product focus in the railway infrastructure sector, voestalpine has supplied all 43 high-performance turnouts for the two new tunnel tubes, as well as 18,000 tonnes of rails, each measuring 120 m in length. By successfully concluding this major order, voestalpine once more highlights its position as a global market leader in both turnout technology and special rails. In the business year 2014/15 the Group generated 47 percent of its total revenue in the growing mobility market, with 12 percent in the railway systems sector alone.

Up to 250 trains a day will travel through the Gotthard Base Tunnel in future, at maximum speeds of up to 250 kph. Completing the world’s largest railway tunnel project marks a decisive step towards establishing a new and more efficient railway connection between Switzerland and Italy. In order to realize this extensive engineering project, SBB turned to voestalpine’s railway technologies. As the global market leader in turnouts and complete systems, voestalpine VAE GmbH, based in Zeltweg, Austria, and a subsidiary of the voestalpine Group’s Metal Engineering Division, supplied all 43 high-performance turnouts required for the project, including point operating, positioning, locking, and monitoring systems. A total of around 18,000 tonnes of special heat-treated rails, each with a length of 120 m, were delivered by the sister company voestalpine Schienen GmbH, based in Leoben-Donawitz in Austria.

The top speeds reached in the Gotthard Base Tunnel by both passenger and freight trains place particularly high demands on the quality of the track and turnout systems. By successfully concluding this major order, we are once again corroborating our global leadership position in railway technology.

Franz Kainersdorfer, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Metal Engineering Division Franz Kainersdorfer, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Metal Engineering Division

In addition to producing and supplying turnouts and rails, responsibilities of voestalpine during the project also included comprehensive engineering work, qualification tests, and documentation. The tracks running through the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be intensively tested over the coming months, with scheduled operations due to commence in December 2016.

Metal Engineering Division

The voestalpine Metal Engineering Division is the global market leader in turnout technology, and the European market leader in special rails and quality wire. The Division is also a leading provider of tubulars and high-quality welding consumables. Customer segments include the railway infrastructure industry, the oil and gas industry, the steel and construction industry, as well as the mechanical engineering and automotive industries. In the business year 2014/15 the Division and its Steel, Rail Technology, Wire Technology, Tubulars, Turnout Systems, and Welding Consumables business units generated revenue of nearly EUR 2.6 billion, of which around a quarter was generated outside Europe. The division, with its approximately 11,700 employees worldwide, generated an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 420 million.

The voestalpine Group

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries and on all five continents, the Group has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide. The voestalpine Group is also the world market leader in turnout technology, special rails, tool steel, and special sections. In the business year 2014/15, the voestalpine Group reported revenue of EUR 11.2 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 1.5 billion; it had around 47,500 employees worldwide.