Rail Cargo
18. April 2024

Semperit’s Rail Products Support Vital European Infrastructure Project: The Koralm Railway

More and more trains are rolling over the tracks and thus over Semperit rail pads, dowels and guide angle plates. This is also the case on the Koralm Railway. It is part of the new southern line in Austria and one of the most important infrastructure projects in Europe.

Every passenger kilometer and every tonne of freight transported by rail produces almost 30 times less greenhouse gas emissions than the average car or truck. Rail travel is therefore experiencing a renaissance, and investments in expanding climate-friendly mobility are being made throughout Europe. One of the most spectacular projects in the rail sector is the Koralm Railway in Austria. The first section of the new high-performance line between Styria and Carinthia was put into operation at the end of 2023. At its heart is the 33-kilometer Koralm Tunnel, which will be the sixth-longest railroad tunnel in the world and the longest in Austria when it is completed in 2025.

“From an international perspective, the Koralm Railway is a milestone in the railroad sector,” says Herwig Miessbacher, who has been with Semperit for 25 years and is responsible for product and process development in the Engineered Applications division and thus also for the railroad sector. “We are proud to have been awarded the contract for the Koralm Railway in ÖBB’s Europe-wide tender. Together with our partners Maba and Schwihag, a tailor-made rail fastening system for the project was supplied”, adds Marius Steiner from Sales in the Railway Superstructure division. In addition to its many years of references, Semperit’s problem-solving expertise was also a decisive factor in winning the contract: “If a problem arises, a competent contact person and a solution are always available,” says Roland Fischer, responsible for route management and system development at the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) about the cooperation with Semperit. Robert Ostermann, Head of Central Purchasing at Maba Fertigteilindustrie GmbH, a member of the Kirchdorfer Group, strikes the same chord: “We have been purchasing rubber and plastic rail fastening components from Semperit for decades and are more than satisfied with the quality and service.”

Perfect track records

Rail fastenings have to withstand high loads of trains weighing several tonnes. And the trend is rising because the number of trains per kilometer of track is constantly increasing. Dowels for concrete sleepers and guide angle plates from Semperit ensure the stability of the rails, while rail pads act as damping elements – for the long run. “We recently removed and analyzed a twenty-year-old Semperit component and were amazed to find that it was as good as new and still met all specifications as on day one,” Herwig Miessbacher provides an example of the durability of Semperit products.

This product quality is one of the tickets that takes Semperit not only to Europe’s renowned railroads, but also to new markets: “There is a large rail network in the USA, but it is very outdated. The USA now invests much money in infrastructure, and we also want to gain a stronger foothold in America. For example, we have already supplied sleeper shoes for the subway in New York and Los Angeles,” Steiner reports on initial projects in the USA. “However, the trend towards public transport is not only a big issue in Europe and the USA but is also becoming increasingly important in the Middle East. Numerous infrastructure projects are being developed there, and we want to score points with our expertise,” says Bernd Schlegl, General Manager at Semperit’s FORM division.

Original article
Image source: semperitgroup.com/OBB