Olga and Wilma, our new TBMs

Olga and Wilma are our two new TBMs that will soon start driving through the Alpine range, helping to build the Brenner Base Tunnel. But what’s behind these two unusual names? Let’s take a look.


By now everyone knows that this autumn Olga and Wilma, our two new Tunnel Boring Machines, will start work in the H53 Pfons-Brenner construction lot, excavating the east and west main tunnels northwards.  And you also know that these names came from a joint effort with RegionalMedien Tirol, leading to many suggestions for names, all of them original and remarkable. And of all these, our winners are Ms. Morandell and Ms. Wolf, who chose the names “Wilma” and “Olga”.  But what’s behind these two unusual names?


The Brenner Base Tunnel: determination and willpower for an extraordinary project

Helga Morandell has no doubts: the Brenner Base Tunnel project is being carried forward with great determination. And that’s why she chose the name Wilma for the tunnel boring machine that will excavate the west main tunnel. "Wilma is the feminine form of Wilhelm and the name Wilhelm is derived from willio (will) and helm (protective helmet). And the Brenner Base Tunnel, the ‘project of the century’ is clearly being pursued with great determination. All previous and current decision-makers have shown that they have very strong willpower. And protection is also a key issue, especially in the field of civil engineering”.


Elisabeth Wolf is also of the opinion that this project is absolutely unique. "Olga means 'blessed'. It is precisely that blessing that protects the workers in our mountains every day and allows them to perform extraordinary works.”


Determination and willpower, then, but there is more than that. Olga's constant protection will also be a key ingredient for the continuation of our project. Thanks again to everyone, not only in Tyrol and Alto Adige, who suggested such original and innovative names. This goes to show, once again, the interest and admiration for the Brenner Base Tunnel project in many regions and countries, because of its important goal: to unite peoples and cultures in an efficient and sustainable manner.