For the fourth year running, an Open Tunnel Day was held at the Brenner Base Tunnel construction site in Mules. The event attracted a grand total of 2,744 visitors, proving that interest in the project is as strong as ever.
The day began with Holy Mass on the construction site, officiated by don Paul Valentini and accompanied by the choir of the Mules parish.
After the Mass, BBT SE personnel took visitors on guided tours of the tunnel. The tours took place at regular intervals all day until about 5 PM, with bilingual guides explaining the status of the works. Over two-thousand six hundred people had already registered at lunchtime and the final total at the end of the day was 2,744 visitors.
Another highly successful activity on the site was an information drive for the blood donor association AVIS and related donor organizations ADMO, AIDO and ADISCO (respectively bone marrow, organ and umbilical cord blood donations) promoted by the local chapter of AVIS and their Chairman Erich Hanni.
Besides the information concerning the BBT project, which was available in a fun maze, visitors were very interested in the information provided by Dr. Hannes Mutschlechner who demonstrated first aid techniques and gave instructions on the use of defibrillators. He also provided health and blood pressure check-ups.
Among the various attractions, the "BBT Cinema" was among the most popular, showing films of the Brenner Base Tunnel and documentaries provided by the TV channel RAI Alto Adige and the archives of the Curatorio dei Beni Tecnici Culturali. The materials included a première of the sequences shot by Austrian photographer Markus Bstieler from the drivers' cabins of multiple trains on the 2,000 km rail stretch from Berlin to Palermo, the central part of the TEN Scan-Med axis, which includes the Brenner Base Tunnel.
Entertainment was provided by the VKE, who set up a play area; the smaller guests had fun on a large inflatable slide. Older and younger guests were able to travel into the tunnel on a small train, through a short stretch of the access tunnel to the ventilation chamber where the machinery used to build the tunnel was on show.
The reaction on the part of the visitors, some of whom were from other parts of Italy or from abroad, was enthusiastic, showing the great interest for this important European project.
BBT SE CEOs Raffaele Zurlo and Konrad Bergmeister were also very pleased. Konrad Bergmeister noted at the end of the day that "over the past four years, more than 10,000 people have visited the Mules construction site. This is an important result that shows the importance of sharing the progress of the project with the public and the need for information on the status of the works." "We are very happy to see so many people having a good time", added Raffaele Zurlo. "Our sense of accomplishment, in the years to come, will not be because we built the longest tunnel in the world, but because we built it well, holding to the timetable and the estimated costs and having gained the acceptance of the population that lives in the project area."