Shifting the Trisanna Bridge

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Traffic & Transport
Bridges and Tunnels
1960 - 1969

The assignment: replace a bridge in the Tyrolean Alps at a height of 88 m without interrupting rail operations. This enterprise was successfully undertaken in 1964.

Trains have been operating across the Trisanna Bridge ever since the Arlberg Railway first opened in 1884. After 80 years of continuous use it was time to replace the elderly bridge. At its highest point the bridge stands 88 m above the valley floor.

As the rail service along the busy Arlberg line was not to be interrupted while construction work was ongoing, a table-shaped scaffold was erected. The new bridge was assembled alongside the old bridge, which meant that rail services was able to continue unimpeded during the assembly work.

On the night of 16 November 1964, once the last train had travelled across the bridge at 0.40 am, the two load-bearing structures were connected. Hydraulic presses were used to move 1,600 tonnes of steel off to the side, by 65 cm in each case. Rail operations across the new bridge were then able to resume after only 11 hours and 45 minutes. The old lattice structure was then dismantled.

Inv.Nr. 40028

Member of