Rola train at Spiez am Thunersee in Switzerland
© RAlpin AG

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    Watching a train being unloaded on the opening day<br />© RAlpin AG
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    New access road for lorries prior to being loaded on the Rola train<br />© RAlpin AG
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    Ramp for the lorries to drive up onto the low-floor carrying wagon (LF wagon)<br />© KREBS+KIEFER

Opening of the terminal of the rolling motorway in Freiburg im Breisgau

After completion of a construction phase lasting around 18 months, the opening of the modernised terminal of the Rolling Motorway (Rola) in Freiburg im Breisgau, which cost around EUR 15 million, opened on 16 March 2017.

KREBS+KIEFER made a decisive contribution to the success of this strategic infrastructure project by performing the following services:

+ Project management
+ Approved submitter of licence applications and technical verification (EBA)
+ Implementation of the railway company applications
+ Health and safety coordination

The Swiss company RAlpin AG operates a Rola connection that crosses the Alps between Freiburg im Breisgau and Novara (Italy). The name Rola stands for rolling motorway [rollende Autobahn}, i.e. lorries that are loaded on goods trains that operate between loading terminals. The Rola operation in Freiburg is carried out on the track area of the existing goods station.

The previous loading direction in Freiburg required the laborious turning of entire trains in the shunting yard at Weil am Rhein so that the lorries could be transported forward through the Alps. With the opening and commissioning of the Katzenberg Tunnel between Freiburg and Basel, the turning of the loading direction was indispensable as the Rola trains are to use this tunnel.

The central element of the modernisation was the construction of a new approach road and the relocation of the loading zone. As part of the overall work, several angular supporting walls (in-situ concrete) and a bored pile wall were built. Extensive track construction work with renovation of the points and adaptation of the aerial line system was carried out. The existing intermediate pre-stacking room was extended and a new terminal building was built. The particular difficulty for the construction was the requirement that the Rola operation was to be maintained at all times.

The core objective of the renovation of Rola terminal had already been achieved by 22 May 2016. With the completion of the first renovation stage, the lorries could be loaded in the driving direction. Up until the opening that has now taken place, the buildings were constructed and the pre-stacking areas were expanded.

On 16 March 2017, the new terminal was opened at a ceremony attended by Mr Pierre-André Meyrat, Deputy Director of the Federal Office of Transport (BAV), Professor Martin Haag and Mr Erwin Rutishauser, President of the Board of Administration of RAlpin AG.