Tests begin for new bridge on Marchtrenk – Wels railway

bridge on Marchtrenk – Wels railway

ÖBB has completed the first rail bridge on Marchtrenk – Wels railway of the Western Line, one of the most important traffic arteries in Austria connecting Vienna and Salzburg.

Under the four-track expansion project of the Western Line, ÖBB is constructing four bridges between Marchtrenk and Wels over the A25 motorway.

As planned, the first new bridge is completed and entered stress test with up to four locomotives, each weighing around 80 tonnes. Meanwhile, all static data is collected and meticulously evaluated. In this way, the smallest deformations in the supporting structure can be determined and are then compared with the previously calculated values. In order to actually cover all bridge areas of the approximately 85-meter-long bridge, the locomotives had to be maneuvered to 10 different positions.

The first bridge on Marchtrenk – Wels railway is scheduled to enter operation in June 2024 and the trains on the Western Line will then be rerouted over the new bridge so that the existing bridge structure can then be dismantled and rebuilt. ÖBB’s challenge is that all work takes place while operations are ongoing on the Western Line and over the A25 motorway. This is not only an organisational but also a logistical challenge. Up to 450 trains run in the Linz – Wels section every day.  “Constructing and maintaining ongoing rail traffic at the same time is the ultimate discipline when expanding the Western Line between Linz and Wels,” Heinz Dudek, project coordinator at ÖBB-Infrastructure AG said.

The upgrade of the Western Line Vienna–Salzburg comprises 11 sub projects and currently ÖBB is working in parallel on four expansion projects along the line. The company is carrying out works on the west side of Linz Main Station which will be expanded to four tracks expected to be completed in 2026.  This will deliver additional capacity for passenger and freight services on the Western line.

The west side of Linz main station and the Marchtrenk – Wels section is under construction as planned. This means that the entire 24 km long section from the Linz west exit to Wels will be under construction from mid-2024. Around EUR 110 million, with a EUR 2 million average per week, will be invested this year alone between Linz and Wels to upgrade and expand the double-track line to four tracks to meet  future rail traffic.

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