ILF wins tunnel design contract for Schaftenau-Radfeld section


Within the framework of the upgrade to four-track operation of the Northern feeder line to the Brenner Base Tunnel, ILF Consulting Engineers and a partner were commissioned by ÖBB INFRA to carry out the tender and construction design as well as the geotechnical engineering on site for the primary lining of the approx. 2.5 km long Angath tunnel. Once completed, the Angath tunnel shall serve as the rescue tunnel for the 11.5 km long Angerberg tunnel.

The Schaftenau–Radfeld section is part of the northern feeder line of the Brenner Base Tunnel and therefore constitutes an essential part of the most important North-South railway link in Europe. The Angerberg tunnel situated near Wörgl is the key element of this upgrade.

The entire design services shall be carried out using the BIM method and shall also include the option for the tender and construction design together with the geotechnical engineering on site for the 2.9 km long section of the twin-track Angerberg tunnel. A sequential excavation method (NATM) is planned for the tunnel structures.

ILF has already been involved in the previous design phases and now continues to work on this challenging project in the next design phases.

Graphic: OEBB/GC Vision


ILF at the Pipeline Technology Conference 2021


ILF Consulting Engineers is pleased to announce its participation, as a Golden Sponsor, in the 16th Pipeline Technology Conference (PTC), to be held virtually, from March 15th to March 18th 2021.

Also during this year’s PTC, our experts will demonstrate their technical expertise. Dr. York Schorling, Director for large-scale projects, will present on the topic of hydrogen, and Dr. Robert Ofner, Head of Structural Engineering, and Dr. Klaus Robl, Geologist, will present on the topic of planning & construction.

You are most welcome to visit us at our digital booth to find out more about our competences and experience in the field of pipeline engineering.

Let us know how we can help you tackle your challenges (! We look forward to your visit. For further information, please visit the official PTC website at


World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development


March 4th is a great day for all engineers worldwide. It has been declared as the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development by UNESCO. This date not only recognizes the contribution of our profession to climate change and sustainability, but also reminds us to continue to increase this contribution.

Climate change and sustainability have a very high priority at ILF. With the provision of engineering and consulting services, ILF makes a significant contribution to improving the quality of life worldwide.


Register now for
“Scaling up Green Hydrogen in Europe”


Date and time:
February 26, 2021
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CET) / 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (GMT)

Green hydrogen is increasingly seen as an indispensable part of the Energy Transition. Ambitious targets for producing it have been set for the mid-2020s and 2030.

Many projects and use cases are proposed, but how is an industry that currently only operates at the level of tens of MW going to reach GW-scale quickly – and efficiently – enough? Will access to cheap energy at the boundaries of and/or outside Europe help to make green hydrogen competitive in the mid to long term, even taking the need to transport hydrogen into account?

ILF, Dentons  and Operis have produced a white paper on Scaling up Green Hydrogen in Europe. In it, we look across the hydrogen value chain and consider both the physical and contractual/regulatory infrastructure that will be needed to make the vision of a hydrogen economy a reality. We consider how to match supply and demand for hydrogen; suggest possible models for financing hydrogen projects and trading their output; and review the role of public financial support and other policy interventions. We are optimistic about the prospects, but also realistic about some of the challenges facing this new industry.

We will be launching the white paper at the online seminar.

After a brief presentation of our conclusions, a panel of industry experts who are engaged in commercial hydrogen projects will debate the issues and share insights from their own experience.

Speakers from ILF, Dentons and Operis will be joined by:

  • Julia Prescot, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder at Meridiam Infrastructure, Member of the UK National Infrastructure Commission
  • Roland Schulze, Managerial Adviser on Low Carbon Technologies, European Investment Bank
  • Marinus Tabak, Plant Manager, RWE

Please click the “Register now” button below if you would like to attend the cost-free online seminar, or to receive a copy of the white paper when it is released.

We look forward to meeting you virtually and to an interesting discussion. Please do not hesitate to contact ILF if you have any questions.

Register now


Solving Iraq’s increasing water scarcity


The Ministry of Construction, Housing Municipalities and Public Works of Iraq has awarded ILF Consulting Engineers a contract to provide consulting services for a project that should make desalinated seawater available for 13 municipalities in the Al Basrah governorate (Iraq). During the next 30 to 40 years, it is expected that the project will supply more than seven million people with potable water.

The project comprises a 1,000,000 m³/d capacity desalination plant, which will desalinate seawater taken from the Arabian Gulf in the area of the Al Fao Grand Port Development, and a 240 km long water transmission system, which will transport the potable water to nine offtake stations, thus connecting this new system with the existing water supply systems of 13 municipalities. A captive power plant with a capacity of 300 MW will produce the required energy to desalinate and transport the water.

ILF’s services are divided into two phases: Phase 1 includes the feasibility study, environmental scoping, conceptual design, preparation of tender documents and support of contract negotiations until award of the implementation contract. Phase 2 services comprise site supervision and PMC services, from the start of construction to the start of operation.


ILF signs contract for Tha-Htay Hydropower Project in Myanmar


On December 9th, 2020, ILF Consulting Engineers signed an engineering services contract with the Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE), Department of Hydropower Implementation (DHPI) for the 110 MW Tha-Htay Hydropower Project.

The project uses the water flows of the Tha-Htay River, about 19 km northeast of Thandwe, Rakhine State. The project includes the construction of a 90 m high, zoned rockfill dam, with a crest length of 618 m. Two diversion tunnels with a diameter of 10 m each will divert the water during construction.

After an international competitive bidding process, ILF was awarded the engineering services, which cover the review of existing studies, preparation of tender documents and detailed design, as well as supervision support to the DHPI during the construction. The contract will cover a period of 57 months.


ILF still active at Vestfoldbanen railway tunnel project


As part of the ongoing Vestfoldbanen railway upgrade scheme, state-owned Norwegian railway infrastructure company Bane NOR is building 10 km of new double-track railway between Drammen and Kobbervikdalen.
In 2018, ILF Consulting Engineers was hired by the Norwegian contractor Veidekke Entreprenør AS as the designer of the most technically challenging section of the project, a 290 m-long tunnel mined in difficult geology below the groundwater table. The excavation commences in low cohesion glaciofluvial deposits and progressively transitions into full face rock excavation. Extensive ground improvement works in the form of jet-grouting will be executed from the surface in advance of the tunnelling works.

Norway has a long tradition of rock tunnelling, however large span soil tunnels are not common in the country. ILF is able to bring expertise and success on similar tunnel designs to this project.

Initially, ILF prepared the Tender Design and supported Veidekke during the Competitive Dialogue competition. After the EPC Contract was awarded to Veidekke in October 2019, ILF developed the Concept Design to later carry on with the Detailed Design, which is currently underway and includes a BIM model which is then integrated into a combined model of all the works within the contract.


Operation & safety eqpt.for Germany’s longest bi-direction tunnel


The 3.6 km long Kramer Tunnel will be the longest two-way tunnel in Germany. It is primarily meant to relieve through traffic in downtown Garmisch-Partenkirchen and towards Grainau/Eibsee and the federal border at Griesen. In 2020, the Staatliche Bauamt Weilheim contracted ILF Consulting Engineers to carry out the following design phases: 5 to 9 (among others, preparation of tender documents, contract awarding and site supervision) for the installation of the operation and safety equipment.

The Kramer tunnel will predominantly be constructed as a mined tunnel. Furthermore, the tunnel will have two operations buildings outside and a cavern inside the tunnel with a 26 m high exhaust air chimney. The tunnel is planned with cross passages accessible to pedestrians and vehicles as escape routes. More than 1,300 LED lights will ensure that necessary lighting is provided in the Kramer Tunnel. 16 jet fans (55 kW each), and 2 exhaust air fans (420 kW each) ensure that the required ventilation concept is implemented.

Since 2017 ILF has been successfully involved in the Kramer tunnel project, carrying out tunnelling and road design services, preparation of tender documents and risk analysis as well as the first three design phases for the operation and safety equipment.


Seasonal greetings and best wishes for 2021!


Besides diverse challenges that we faced, the year 2020 that is drawing to a close also brought us many encouraging developments. All in all, a sense of great satisfaction and gratitude prevails regarding what we have achieved together.

Our sincere thanks go to our esteemed clients and business partners for their constructive cooperation.

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season, and above all else, health and happiness in the New Year 2021!


A revolution in reporting


On account of the growing complexity of day-to-day project work, the demands on reporting are increasing significantly. Due to the lack of automated processes, classic reporting is prone to errors, only partially up to date and time consuming as well.

By implementing analytical software solutions such as MS Power BI, the great potential of information management can also be used for reporting. The aim is to visualize project-specific data both quantitatively and qualitatively, and in a structured and descriptive manner. These project cockpits are used for quality assurance and also for project coordination and control.
For the project, 2. S-Bahn-Stammstrecke München (2nd Munich S-Bahn Main Line), the Client, Deutsche Bahn, requested quality assurance for BIM in the design phase for various disciplines. In the course of the general BIM coordination, ILF Consulting Engineers developed the quality assurance process by means of MS Power BI. In a multi-stage procedure, the quality of the individual technical models was evaluated and presented in a report. After the client’s approval, a uniform workflow, an interdisciplinary template and a project-specific user guide were developed.

For the project, this constitutes a new standard of quality assurance, which has been implemented for the first time with such professionalism and which will be a yardstick for future projects.


Grafing–Großkarolinenfeld section of Northern Feeder Line to BBT


The Northern Feeder Line forms part of the Trans-European Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor, which stretches from the South of Finland to the island of Malta. The current project is located along the Munich–Verona axis and is a component of the Northern Feeder Line to the Brenner Base Tunnel.

DB Netz AG has recently commissioned ILF Consulting Engineers, as part of a joint venture, to provide design services for the route selection process involving public participation for the planned Grafing–Großkarolinenfeld project area. The Grafing–Großkarolinenfeld section will consist of a new twin-track high-speed line running from Grafing station to an area south of Tuntenhausen. As part of this joint venture, ILF has also been involved in the Großkarolinenfeld–Schaftenau section in Austria since 2016. This section is located next to the Grafing–Großkarolinenfeld section.

The electrified twin-track high-speed line shall provide greater capacities for rail traffic and contribute to relieving traffic on the existing Munich–Innsbruck railway line. Facilitating train speeds of up to 230 km/h, the new line is furthermore advantageous for passengers traveling long distances. The Grafing–Großkarolinenfeld section has a length of approx. 23 km and a maximum longitudinal gradient of 12.5 ‰. The entire processing of the project has been done using BIM, starting from the early design stages.

Core elements of the design contract include development of feasible route alternatives, environmental investigations and interdisciplinary route selection, as well as performance of a comprehensive baseline survey and a project area analysis. The design works will be accompanied by extensive citizen participation.


BIM method is also used at the Wank Tunnel


ILF Consulting Engineers, together with partners, was awarded the contract for the design services for the new eastern bypass of Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) by Staatliches Bauamt Weilheim. This project will provide traffic relief on the existing B2 federal road Munich–Mittenwald with a predicted traffic volume of more than 30,000 vehicles/day.

An essential component of the approx. 5 km long city bypass is the construction of the approx. 3.5 km long Wank tunnel with a parallel escape tunnel at the south-western slope of the Wank mountain range.

The design services include all HOAI service phases, from the preliminary design to the construction design, and are to be carried out using the BIM method.


TuRisMo reduces the risk in road tunnels


With the implementation of EU Directive 2004/54/EC, tunnel safety became a central aspect in the design and operation of road tunnels. By doing so, Austria introduced a performance-based approach to tunnel safety. The Austrian tunnel risk analysis model (TuRisMo) is defined in the Austrian guideline RVS 09.03.11, which describes one of the first methods for analyzing and assessing road tunnel safety in a quantitative manner.

TuRisMo combines different methodical elements for analyzing a tunnel system in its entirety and follows a holistic approach. The use of TuRisMo offers the possibility of quantitatively recording and assessing almost all decisive factors influencing tunnel safety. This contributes to ensuring that investments for tunnel safety are used as cost efficiently as possible.

For more information or answers to your questions please contact


Combining infrastructures: H2 pipelines in cable routes


For the large-scale distribution of hydrogen in Germany, the Fachverband der Netzbetreiber (FNB) – the German Association of Network Operators – proposes to make modifications to the existing natural gas network as well as to a number of new construction projects.

A comparison of FNB’s proposed hydrogen network with underground cable projects in Germany shows that the routes for the direct current transmission lines, which are already in the planning stage, could be meaningfully used to complete the planned H2 pipeline network. In addition, this could increase the H2 transport capacities in a North–South direction to approximately 10 GWh/h.

In an initial study conducted by ILF Consulting Engineers, it became apparent that pipe laying is technically feasible within a large part of the route for the power transmission lines, with only a few sections leading to increased planning and construction costs. For the smallest part of the routes, a small-scale re-routing of the H2 pipeline is likely to be advisable for economic reasons. The next steps shall be the examination of the general conditions, especially with regard to the project’s chances of receiving authority approval and a detailed consideration of the technical feasibility.


Railway route for commuters to Cologne is being expanded


Like many urban agglomerations, Cologne is also experiencing increasing numbers of commuters. In addition, the highly frequented Cologne railway loop is a central connection point for regional, national and international rail traffic.

In order to increase the capacity of the line and the frequency of the trains on the line, investments are to be made into the expansion of Cologne’s local public transport system. ILF Consulting Engineers has been commissioned with the overall design for the expansion of the S11/S-Bahn Main Line, package 1 “VP1” (Köln-Dellbrück to Bergisch Gladbach) (

The scope of services includes, among other things, the planning and design of the transportation facilities and engineering structures, environmental planning, subsoil investigations, the necessary noise and vibration investigations, the planning and design of the control and signaling technology as well as overhead transmission systems, and site supervision during the planning and design.


Can you teach an old dog new tricks?


Hydro power is commonly considered as a mature technology. Does this mean that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks?

The increase in calculation power allows us employing Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations to tailor standard structures to your needs and to design and test truly innovative hydraulics structures.

See in the below video how we used cutting-edge CFD models to re-design the Nam Emoun project in Lao PDR. The key for the transformation of the project was the implementation of fully pressurized waterways. To guarantee operational flexibility and hydraulic stability, an innovative baffled dropshaft structure was developed and tested. Thus, the cost of the project could be reduced by USD20 million compared to the prior contractor offer, the energy output was increased by almost 10% and the construction time was reduced by 8 months. CFD was key to turn a barely feasible project into a high-performance investment. So, Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Contact us to learn more about Engineering Excellence by ILF Consulting Engineers and how ILF can help you develop and built truly sustainable energy projects. Our Engineering, Your Success!

The video can also be found here.


A Sustainable Upgrade for the Schmittenhöhe Snow-Making System


After years of searching in vain for an ecologically and economically justifiable location for a new storage reservoir, which is needed to increase the capacity of the snow-making system in the northern part of the Schmittenhöhe ski area, an alternative solution, which involves taking water directly from Lake Zell, has been developed together with Schmittenhöhebahn AG, one of ILF’s long-standing clients. ILF was commissioned to develop a technically feasible solution that could be approved by the authorities and to support the implementation of this solution during the permit application design, detailed design and site supervision, all the way through to commissioning.

A first construction phase in 2019 included the construction of a pumping station at Lake Zell, which involved the installation of pipes via pipe jacking under the federal road, the ÖBB railway line and the lakeside promenade, with the pipes leading directly into Lake Zell. Water is taken from Lake Zell and pumped through several pump units, at a total of 150 l/s, via an approximately 3-km-long supply line to the existing Sonnalm I pumping station.

In 2020, the Sonnalm II pumping station was constructed during the second construction phase. By means of an additional pumping station, the entire additional flow capacity can now be used to transport water to the snow makers via the new powerful cooling system with a total of 6 large cooling towers. After completion and commissioning of the system in autumn 2020, the Schmittenhöhe AG will now be able to provide guaranteed snow in the northern part of the ski area, thanks to the powerful snow-making system.


When rain becomes a flood


Cooling off in a sudden rain shower on a hot summer day often feels good. But a thunderstorm with torrential rain can quickly lead to flooding and cause serious damages in cities and settlements.
Extreme rainfall events are difficult to predict as they occur suddenly and on a small spatial scale. Due to climate change, the occurrence of such events will very likely increase and it is advisable to be well prepared before they happen.

With a competent and interdisciplinary team and with specialized modeling tools, ILF Consulting Engineers supports its clients in preparing and developing protective measures. A key element is the hazard analysis carried out using a hydrodynamic model that simulates the runoff of stormwater in the drainage system and on the surface, i.e. on streets, squares, or along ditches and rivers, thus making it possible to assess the associated risks. Based on the analysis results, various protective measures can be developed.

For more information or answers to your questions please contact


Computational Design for Infrastructure projects


Through the application of Computational Design (CD) on infrastructure projects, ILF Consulting Engineers breaks new ground. The approach was based on combining the CD skills with engineering and software expertise. Together, this combination was able to recognize the possibilities and streamline design processes with increased quality and time savings.

ILF tunneling experts used CD to create optimized tunnel profile designs for the creation of building information modeling (BIM) models of tunnels based on real-world tunnel projects. Using generative design solutions which allow the user to set variables and desired goals such as minimum excavation area and/or required ventilation area, an optimized tunnel cross section is produced and used in turn for the creation of the BIM models.

A further example involved the design of tunnel branches based on inputs such as typical cross section data, alignments, gradients, chainages and cross slope information. A parametric 3D model of the tunnel branch geometry and 2D sections of the tunnel profiles are produced. By reducing the time for production of design alternatives to 20 %, various alternatives can be considered and the quality of the final design can be optimized.

For further information or answers to your questions, please contact



Stuttgart 21 – a 10-year success story


ILF Consulting Engineers has been working on the large-scale project Stuttgart 21 (S21) since being awarded a contract by the Deutsche Bahn, at the end of 2009, to carry out the construction supervision for various sections of the project. With the planned construction works, the entire floor plan of the Stuttgart Central Station will be rotated by approx. 90 degrees and laid underground. This requires the construction of numerous new interconnections and many modifications on existing lines in the inner-city area, as well as the construction of new tunnel sections as feeder lines to the future Stuttgart station.

ILF’s scope of services comprises the design sections 1.2 and 1.6a of the S21 project (see overview below), which are interconnected to the new central station by tunnels ending in the future high-speed track of the new Stuttgart–Ulm line, which is currently being constructed in the South of Stuttgart. In addition there are underground connections to the existing railway lines towards Untertürkeim and Obertürkheim in the East.

ILF’s experts have now been successfully involved in this large-scale project for more than 10 years and will continue to work on this project for some years to come. The commissioned services mainly comprise technical and construction contract-related services as the construction supervisor, railway operational services in the vicinity of the facilities in operation, as well as services for project completion including handover of the entire concrete and structural works prior to the commencement of works on the track bed structures being carried out by other contractors.

So far, a total of approximately 28 km of single-track tunnel tubes have been driven using mining methods (NATM) and tunnel boring machines (TBMs). The tunnel cross sections are approximately 8 to 9 m in diameter, with underground bifurcations as well as approximately 30 emergency connection structures. In addition, 3 large portal structures are being constructed using the cut-and-cover method, each approximately 300-500 m long with trough and rectangular cross-sections in partly confined conditions next to railway lines that are already in operation.

Currently, the last tunnel sections are being driven towards Obertürkheim. Parallel to this, the inner linings in all sections of the tunnels and the cut-and-cover works in the portal areas are nearing completion. The next major milestone is expected to be reached by mid-2021, which will comprise the initiation of the subsequent track works on several tunnel sections around Stuttgart.

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