Rehabilitation of the first high-speed lines in Germany
Almost 30 years have passed since the first high-speed railway lines were opened in Germany at the beginning of June 1991. So it’s time to start renewing this infrastructure that is subjected to large loads. In June 2019, this work was started and is planned to be carried out over the next five years.
Nearly 30 years of high-performance operation
Deutsche Bahn AG started the inevitable project of rehabilitation, which has been planned in detail for many years, in the North of Germany, on the high-speed line between Hanover and Göttingen. The line will be closed for traffic for 6 months. The high-speed line between Mannheim and Stuttgart will be completely renovated in 2020. In the three years after that, further sections will follow between Göttingen, Kassel, Fulda and Würzburg. One consequence of this project are diversions and longer journey times, the other are the deployment of railway construction machines, know-how and personnel over several months as well as a huge effort in material logistics. The main work will be carried out on tracks and turnouts including the ballast bed, signalling and automatic train control. In some places, the overhead line system will also be renovated or renewed.
Long-welded rail transport units pick up the old rails that have been cut to size, in a similar way they delivered the new rails beforehand.
In the Hanover area and in Göttingen the high-speed line that is closed for renovation and the North-South line run parallel.
Syndicates of several construction companies carry out the work, engineering consortiums monitor it.
Several gantry cranes are supplying new sleepers continuously and remove the collected old rails on the way back.
High-speed line Hanover–Würzburg: key data
110 main-line trains daily, 15.5 million passengers per year at up to 280 km/h
Freight traffic at night (approx. 22.00 to 5.00) at up to 160 km/h