Circular hike for tunnel freaks

When it is completed in 2032, the Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT) together with its inlets will be the longest railway tunnel in the world at 64 km. The Wipptal will then be tunnelled completely underneath. You can find more detailed information about what is going on underground in the “Tunnel Worlds”, the Brenner Base Tunnel Infocenter in Steinach. The Wipptal Tourist Board offers weekly guided tours of the landfill site in the Padaster Valley for all those who would like to take a look at the excavated material from above.

Hike with deep views
Roland Amor has accumulated a great deal of knowledge about the Brenner Base Tunnel project. He likes to pass on his knowledge to anyone interested, both guests and locals, every Tuesday on a guided circular hike of approx. 4 hours (including stops for breaks and photos). The meeting point is at the Steinach railway station at 9:30. Following a short informative walk along the Schlurnweg, a path that runs parallel to the Brenner railway line, Roland and his group continue their hike to the Wendelin Chapel, where the landfill trail starts. All in all, the hike covers an altitude difference of approx. 360 m. We highly recommend hiking poles, especially for the first part of the hike (free rental at the Steinach Info Office).

There are a few steps to conquer before you can enjoy the view.

Circular hike with plenty of technical input
The hike takes a somewhat steeper route for the first 20 minutes until reaching a metal platform that offers perfect views of the landfill and the surrounding mountain landscape. After passing some info boards detailing the construction project and being provided with additional information by Roland Amor, the hike continues into the Padaster Valley. The narrow trail passes through forest and on partially sloping terrain. Here, sturdy shoes and sure-footedness are an absolute must. After walking for about 1.5 hours, the route leads to the opposite side of the valley and finally through an approx. 300-m long tunnel, in which conditions are very fresh and almost dark – so don’t forget to bring a jacket even in the height of summer. The terrain then becomes gentler and you hike through meadows and sparse forest on a slight downhill slope out of the valley to the starting point of the tour.

The circular hike allows deep insights

An uninhabited valley is being “topped up”
The Padaster Valley, an uninhabited, heavily forested valley with Alpine pastures at the end of the valley, is perfectly suited to accommodate the excavated rock from the Brenner Base Tunnel. As a result, the valley floor will be “raised” by a few metres of altitude, whereby very strict nature conservation requirements have to be met in terms of water run-off. The Alpine pasture area at the end of the valley will not be impacted by the construction measures.

Tip:
Anyone interested in delving deeper into the tunnel construction process is invited to take part in a guided tour of the Tunnel Worlds every Wednesday from 10:00, which is followed by a visit to the construction site tunnel.

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