29-11-2012 — /europawire.eu/ — Austrian Railways (ÖBB) officially completed its high-speed rail line project in the Lower Inn Valley in the Tyrol. The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided a total of EUR 1 billion for this ambitious project in its biggest ever lending operation in Austria.
This section has now been completed after a nine-year construction period. It will form part of the approach to the future Brenner Base Tunnel and will therefore be a key component of the Berlin-Palermo TEN axis 1 − Europe’s primary North-South rail corridor.
With the addition of this modern high-speed line, the 41 km section between Kundl and Baumkirchen now has four tracks. That means not only a substantial increase in capacity but also considerably shorter journey times for passengers and goods transport. Both goods and passenger traffic used to run on the two-track section but these will now be separated. Noise pollution for the local population will be reduced as in future goods traffic will run mainly through tunnels.
At today’s signing ceremony EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer spoke of the special significance of the project: “The Lower Inn Valley rail line is a flagship European project. It combines modern transport solutions − clearly geared to people and the environment − with economic vision. This is an ideal project for the EIB to finance: a pioneering scheme for European mobility that is sustainable, economically sound and viable.”
Andreas Matthä, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG’s CEO said: “I am very pleased that for many years now we have had the EIB as a reliable partner, cofinancing our largest and most important projects in Austria with long-term loans. These include the high-speed rail line in the Lower Inn Valley in the Tyrol, the extension of the Danube line and the construction of the new central station in Vienna. We look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation.”
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