The Albula and Surselva railway line run across the Hinterrhein Bridge near Reichenau-Tamins for over 100 years. With its single-tracked railway line, the existing bridge is not longer capable of meeting the operational requirements due to the constant expansion of offerings. Therefore, the Rhaetian Railway will build a second Hinterrhein bridge parallel to the existing bridge, as well as additional 600 m of train tracks from the exit Reichenau-Tamins to the area of Reichenau-Farsch. Thus, the two railway lines can be separated, and timetable stability increased.
The new, 200 m long steel bridge with V-supports and a trough cross-section forms the key element of the project. It carries the name "Sora Giuvna", Romansh for “Small Sister”, and is the winner project of an international project competition. The new bridge will traverse the Hinterrhein and the National Road A13.
In the background, the existing bridge, in front, as visualisation, the new Hinterrhein Bridge.
Apart from the new bridge, the project also includes the construction of a 600 m long railway bed from the exit Reichenau-Tamins to the area Reichenau-Farsch. Thus, the Albula and Surselva railway lines can be separated, and timetable stability increased. The new twin-track section requires, among other things, five new switches as well as the upgrading of the safety system and other additional railway installations.
The most spectacular part of the construction work presumably takes place at the beginning of 2018. Then, the new steel top structure of the river bridge will be hoisted and fitted in several parts with a large crawler crane. The initial operation of the new bridge is planned for the beginning of November 2018.
Starting from November 2019, both Hinterrhein bridges will be in operation.
The existing bridge will be repaired
With the operationalisation of the new bridge, the railway operation will commence from the new railway bed. Thus, the existing railway bed can decommissioned for the repair of the old Hinterrhein Bridge with the substitution of the bridge via the National Road A13. The existing, listed lattice bridge from 1895 will be repaired and continued to use for railway operations. With its modifications, it will be equipped with a pedestrian walk way on the lower bridge side, allowing for an extension of the Ruinaulta trail to Reichenau-Tamins and/or towards Rothenbrunnen. The concrete bridge above the A13 will be demolished and replaced for geometrical reasons, whereby it will fulfil the future expansion demand of the structure clearance for the national route A13. After the completion of all sections of the construction, the new twin-track will be operational in November 2019.
The costs of the entire project amount to approximately 32.5 million Swiss francs. Contrary to other bridge construction works, the complexity of the railway systems, in particular, the safety system, is very high and accounts for nearly half of the total costs. The reason for that is the ongoing railway operation during all construction phases. The actual construction costs for the two steel bridges, the civil engineering works and the mountainside excavation works amount to approximately 13.5 million Swiss francs.