Brenner Base Tunnel “Tulfes-Pfons” section

The main section of a new railway line that will connect Munich with Verona

High Speed Railways

Start of works

September 2014

Progress status


Data updated to November 2021

Pfons, Austria
SDG Obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile
Climate action Climate action
Industry innovation and infrastructure Industry innovation and infrastructure

​​​​​​​The Brenner Base Tunnel is the main section of a new railway line that will connect Munich with Verona, a state of the art construction project set to improve transport at the heart of Europe. The Tulfes-Pfons section is in Innsbruck, in the northern segment of the tunnel, and mainly involves the excavation of 42,43 km of tunnel, which is divided into 15,08 km of mechanized excavation and 27,35 km of traditional excavation according to the New Austrian Method.

The project involves underground civil works to build an important segment of the exploratory tunnel (about 15,08 km with TBM), the rescue tunnel for the Innsbruck bypass, and two interconnecting tunnels, in addition to the Innsbruck emergency station.

Once completed, the Brenner Base Tunnel will be the longest underground rail connection in the world.

Technical data

Tulfes rescue tunnel (m)


Ahrental exploratory tunnel (km)


Tunnels (km)



Advantages and benefits of the work

Co2 emissions avoided per year

466,295 tons

Passengers expected per year


Reduction of travel times



The project covers a section of the Brenner Base Tunnel, the longest rail tunnel in the world (two main bores plus a service tunnel, each 55 km in length). The construction of the Tulfes-Pfons section, in addition to using a TBM equipped with monitoring and control systems that employ cutting edge technology, involves the construction of a 9.684 km rescue tunnel along Innsbruck’s existing rail bypass, bringing this tunnel into compliance with the most recent rail safety standards. These monitoring systems elaborate the images of the industrial cameras located on the head of the TBM during the excavation and give 2D and 3D images, useful for geologist, as output, without stopping the machine.

It is important to highlight the choice of vehicle selected for the TBM logistic and the personnel transport: Multi Service Vehicle (MSV) has been chosen in variation to the initial project (railed trains). This solution represents a great optimization, related to the tunnels geometry and accesses and the reduced external disposal areas.