Felbermayr Moves Transformers East to West Across Austria by Rail and Road – Heavy Lift News
16 Dec 2022

Felbermayr Moves Transformers East to West Across Austria by Rail and Road

Beginning at the beginning of September, one of the most spectacular heavy transports of the year in Austria was started by the Felbermayr departments for international low-loader rail transport (ITB) and special transport. Starting from the Siemens Energy plant in Weiz, Styria, a total of four transformers for the new Nauders substation of the Austrian Power Grid (APG) were transported to Tyrol.

We’ve been working on this project since 2017,” says project manager Michael Ertl from ITB. However, the project entered the intensive phase two years ago: “Because each consignment had a total weight of 420 tonnes, a feasibility study was required.”

Among the critical points were two bridge structures on the road between Landeck and Nauders. However, in close cooperation between all those involved and with the help of a civil engineer, all problems could be resolved.

The starting point for the transport was Weiz in Styria, where Siemens Energy operates the world’s largest transformer plant in the “Large Power” sector. There, the four transformers with a unit weight of 155 tonnes were loaded onto the 20-axle railway wagons one-by-one between the beginning of September and the beginning of November and then sent on their journey. “For safety reasons, the approximately seven-metre-long transformers were lashed against slipping, taking into account the subsequent transport by road, as there were gradients of up to ten percent,” notes Ertl.



Day one of the rail journey led from Weiz to Schwarzach im Pongau. About ten hours were needed to cover the approximately 300 kilometres by train. Another 300 kilometres were covered on day two. The final stop of the heavy load rail journey was Landeck station in Tyrol.




Once there, the voltage converters the mode of transport was changed to road. This required extensive preparations, such as the temporary construction of a mat track.

In order to keep the traffic obstructions to a minimum, the stretches covered by road were carried out at night, specifically over two nights.



The first stage began spectacularly by driving through the Landec pedestrian zone. “Including the tractor and pusher units, the heavy transport roadtrain was 70 metres long,” says Ertl. On the one hand, this required a great deal of sensitivity from the colleagues at the wheel of the more than 630 hp semitrailer tractor units, and on the other also toward the equipment used.


The road load distributors ensured that the forces were evenly distributed over all axle lines. The lifting and lowering capabilities of the road load configuration were often used. This was the only way, for example, to pass over crash barriers in tight bends or to pass tunnels by lowering them.


Extensive traffic control measures – such as the dismantling of traffic lights or the temporary removal of traffic signs – were also necessary. In addition, steel plates had to be laid out on both the first and second day, for example to make road shoulders passable. Due to a transport height of almost five metres, power had to be cut in the overhead power lines on a 46-kilometre stretch of road in order to create the conditions for the safe lifting of power cables.


On arrival at the substation in Nauders, the road train with the transformer was positioned parallel to the foundation. The next day, the transformer was fitted with rollers, freed from the longitudinal loading girders and brought into operating position using hoists on cross rails.

​​​​​​​With the laying of the foundations for the fourth transformer at the beginning of November, the order was completed on schedule and safely, as required by the customer Siemens Energy. This was also an important milestone for APG for the completion of the new substation in Nauders, which is essential for assuring the security of the power supply in the region and throughout Austria. Because according to APG, infrastructures like this are the key to ensuring the energy transition succeeds with reliable supplies.


Source Felbermayr

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