Alimak elevator refurbishment in the Alps

Tauern-Tunnel, A10-Tauern-Autobahn, Austria

The Tauern Autobahn serves as important North-South connection in the Alps region. Approximately 6,500 m in length, the Tauern tunnel is located on the A10 between AB-km 80.9 and 87.4. The tunnel tubes are equipped with full cross ventilation and each tube is divided into 4 ventilation zones. Air handling units are located at the north- and south portal, as well as in a cavern between both tubes at the approximate middle of the tunnel.

Special application

The cavern is connected to a 600 m vertical shaft into open air. At the top of the shaft, the air is led to open air using ventilation ducts. The shaft air is eccentrically divided through a wall into a supply air section and an exhaust air section.

The shaft has a diameter of approximately 10 m, approximately 1/3 of the cross sectional area is used for exhaust air and 2/3 for fresh air. Alimak rack and pinion elevators for personnel transport are installed on the divider wall in both the air supply and air exhaust shaft.

Unique task

Both Alimak elevator installations have been performing their specific roles here since 1975. Built into the ventilation shaft, the elevators serve a platform that is used for inspection of the shaft walls.

This steel platform is also used as shaft cover when not in use. Passage openings for the Alimak elevators make it possible to operate the platform vertically using a hoisting system comprised of winches, crane girders and deflection rollers.

Individual situation

One Alimak elevator car has its single landing above the platform at the top of the shaft, which serves both as its base- and rest station when not in use. The second Alimak elevator car also has a landing at the top of the shaft; its base-/rest position is situated approximately 10 m above the base of the shaft in a recess of the cavern.

Here the elevator moves horizontally by means of a horizontal carriage. The car thereby reaches the mast, to which it is automatically docked. Electrically operated winches serve as cable feed, with transformers regulating power supply (Fig. 5).

Both Alimak elevators had become due for refurbishment after many years of use. Particularly because of their special configuration, new elevator cars could not be installed easily. Therefore the elevators, the cable winch necessary for the operation, the horizontal carriage and the electrical control cabinets as well as the transformers were refurbished.

Comprehensive refurbishment

ASFINAG being responsible for the Tauern-Tunnel and Alimak Hek exactly planned the refurbishment to minimise traffic interruption as much as possible.

Therefore primarily the early autumn months were spent to dismantle the elevator cars, electrical cabinets and winches. Using chain hoists, muscle power, precision and a special loading crane, these parts were brought through the shaft top building into open air.

Specially constructed equipment was also used at the bottom of the shaft in order to disassemble the horizontal carriage, winch and electrical cabinets: A HEK MSM Super mast climbing work platform transported the equipment from the recess to the shaft base.

Following loading and transport, the complete refurbishment was carried out in the ISO-certified Alimak Hek production facility in Skellefteå.

After structural and electrical engineering tests, all components still usable were cleaned, sandblasted, resealed and freshly painted. In addition to the Alimak components, the access stairs and railing in the recess of the supply air lift were cleaned, and the protective housing of the horizontal carriage was refurbished.

Successful installation

Completely refurbished and fitted with new safety devices, gears and motors, the now again state-of-the-art components began their journey back to their place of origin.

Thanks to the experience gained during the disassembly and with the help of the equipment thereby retained, the special elevator installation was able to resume its special service after successful installation.

Elevator details

Tauern-Tunnel, A10-Tauern-Autobahn, Austria
Installation year
Refurbishment year
Tunnel ventilation shaft
Elevator type
Rack & Pinion
Elevator model
No. of elevator cars
400 kg / 5 persons
Car size
1.44 m2
0.32 m/s
Lifting height
600 m
High altitude elevators


Nos produits sont créés, conçus et fabriqués pour assurer à nos clients une fiabilité et une résistance à l'usure immuables dans les conditions les plus extrêmes !