The Koralmbahn is one of the biggest projects being tackled by ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG and involves expansion of the Austrian railway network. For a short while, a working community under the technical management of Implenia has been at work on the section between St. Andrä and Aich, the centrepiece of which is the 6.1 km sequence of tunnels in the Granitz valley. Alongside other machines, Implenia is using three Liebherr L 566 tunnel wheel loaders as well as three Liebherr R 944 tunnel excavators for this tunnel building operation.
Liebherr tunnel wheel loaders and tunnel excavators are specialist items of machinery that Liebherr developed specifically for the harsh conditions encountered in tunnels. The equipment incorporated in the tunnel wheel loaders includes, among many other things, four worklights at the back, tilting cylinders with piston rod guards and a rear-mounted collision fender. A cabin with armoured windows specifically developed for tunnel-building protects operating personnel as well as the vehicle.
Companies can use Liebherr tunnel excavators with all standard kinds of tunnel propulsion systems. Its robust equipment also includes a pivot-action arm with 2 x 45° bearings. The mechanical quick coupling system is equipped with a reinforced locking unit and a wear guard beside the hook. To prevent damage from falling rocks, all the hoses in exposed locations on the equipment fittings are additionally secured by protection plates. The special cab is secured as standard with FOPS and FGPS.
The Koralmbahn section of railway covers a total distance of 130 kilometres (about 80 miles) and should be completed by 2023, providing the first direction connection between the centres of Graz and Klagenfurt. It forms part of the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor that extends from Bologna right up to Danzig.