Change of climate conditions in a long railway tunnel during construction and operation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The climate conditions (temperature, humidity) inside a tunnel vary in the period
from the construction phase to the start of tunnel operation and afterwards because of different operation modes. Nonetheless, the environmental conditions are very important input parameters for the planning, concerning various matters. For example, during the construction phase, the maximum allowable air temperature in the working areas shall not be exceeded. During railway operation as well, the thermal conditions in the tunnel are very important because tunnel air is used for cooling technical equipment, which is usually located in the cross-passages between the two tubes of the newly tunnel. Climate conditions in a tunnel depend on a variety of parameters. The Koralm tunnel, which is still under construction, was taken as an example to give a brief overview of the impact of such parameters. The Koralm Tunnel is a 32.9 km long twin-tube railway tunnel located in the south of Austria, connecting the federal states of Carinthia and Styria. There are about 70 cross-passages containing
utility rooms for the electrical and IT equipment. To guarantee that the acceptable temperature limits for the technical equipment are maintained, ventilation or cooling has to be established.
It was examined, how tunnel air temperature changes over the time and due to
different operation scenarios. This was important to find out, if tunnel air is sufficient for the cooling process or air conditioning is necessary. It has been shown, that a simple mechanical ventilation system in many cases is sufficient but in some cases air conditioning is required. Another focus was put on possible condensation in utility rooms, which would damage technical installation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages84 - 93
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021
Event13th International Tunnelling and
Underground Structures Conference
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 17 Nov 202119 Nov 2021


Conference13th International Tunnelling and
Underground Structures Conference


  • Tunnel climate
  • Tunneling
  • Temperature Requirement
  • Construction ventilation

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production


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