Tunnelling

Safely through the mountain

SWIETELSKY Tunnelbau GmbH & Co KG specialises in any kind of underground construction projects. The company is located in Salzburg, from where conventional as well as mechanised tunnel projects are implemented.

While we are active worldwide, the main focus has shifted naturally to alpine underground construction.

We gained our first experience with tunnelling in 1949 at the Achensee power plant. Back then we still traded under the name Ed. AST and Co.

In addition to classic infrastructure construction, such as road, railway and subway tunnels, the construction of underground power stations in the form of pressure and diversion tunnels, pressure shafts and caverns, constitutes an important sector for Swietelsky Tunnelbau.

Our service areas include:

  • Railway tunnels
  • Road tunnels
  • Subway tunnels
  • Galleries
  • Caverns
  • Shafts
  • Tunnel rehabilitation, and much more

Find your contact for Tunnelling


Railway tunnels

Classic traffic tunnelling constitutes the largest portion of Swietelsky Tunnelbau's turnover. This essentially includes railway tunnelling and road tunnelling. In addition to the conventional demolition methods of drill and blast, road headers or soft tunnelling techniques as used primarily to date in Austria and Germany, mechanised tunnelling has also recently been gaining in importance.

Road tunnels

Local bypasses, noise protection tunnels, essential safety-related construction of second tunnels at existing tunnels with two-way traffic and the extension of the trans-European cross line require more and more tunnelling projects. These are generally constructed using conventional demolition methods such as drill and blast, road headers or soft tunnelling techniques.

Subway tunnels

In addition to the geo-mechanical challenges, which are already substantial, urban construction has to cope with problems of restricted space and settlement due to shallow undercutting of existing buildings as well as problems with local residents.

Galleries, caverns and shafts

Power plant construction can be an especially technical challenge owing to the highly complex excavation geometries, extremely delicate logistics in high-altitude alpine regions as well as sometimes large inclinations of the actual buildings. Expertise in all underground disciplines is an absolute must here and something we can offer in abundance thanks to our current wealth of construction expertise.

Galleries are underground constructions, usually of smaller diameter, which serve the purpose of exploration and development for subsequent large tunnelling projects.

Ever-increasing energy consumption levels, the move away from nuclear power and the desire for undisturbed alpine landscape has resulted in recent years in a renaissance of alpine power plant construction. Existing reservoirs in particular are being used more intensively by additional pumped-storage power plants. Because the entire system, i.e. tributaries, pressure rises and powerhouse caverns, is generally situated underground, the residual intervention in nature is very marginal.

There is a particular need in power plant construction for perpendicular and inclined shafts of different sizes for surge chambers or pressure rises. These are constructed traditionally using Alimak or mechanically using a TBM.

Rehabilitation of tunnels

This includes classic reconditioning of inner shells as well as safety-related retrofitting of existing tunnels.