Twin-bore railway tunnel
Construction of sonic boom structures at all portals to avoid the sonic boom effect
part of the new/upgraded Karlsruhe-Basel railway line
single-track railway tunnel
DB Netz AG [German rail company]
represented by DB Projektbau GmbH
Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG
as commercial leader of a joint venture
August 2003 to March 2011
€ 340 million
The Katzenberg Tunnel is part of the new/ upgraded Karlsruhe-Basel railway line, the so-called Rheintalbahn (Rhine Valley Line), which is a continuation of the Cologne/Rhine-Main high-speed railway line and runs towards the south through the Rhine valley to the Swiss border. In July 2003, Deutsche Bahn AG, the German national railway company, awarded the contract for this project to the Katzenberg Tunnel Joint Venture, consisting of Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG, Ed. Züblin AG, Marti Tunnelbau AG and Jäger Bau GmbH. The Katzenberg Tunnel is a twin-bore tunnel with a total length of 9.4 km each, of which 8,984 m were driven by TBM. Two 67 m deep ventilation shafts were built inmid length of the tunnels.
For the first time in German railway construction history, two EPB-TBMs were used to construct the tunnels consisting of a single-pass reinforced concrete segmental lining. The geology encountered was characterized by layers of marl and Meletta. With an overburden of up to 120 m, design water pressures of up to 9 bar and water inflows of up to 60 l/s had to be coped with. By choosing 2 EPB machines, which could be operated both fully filled and partly filled with or without compressed air cushion, it was possible to cope safely with the varying soil conditions.
The Katzenberg Tunnel was opened to traffic by an ICE train and a freight train driving through the tunnel tubes. Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau, Area Tunnelling, built the third largest railway tunnel in Germany in a joint venture.
The Federal Minister for Transport, Peter Ramsauer and Rüdiger Grube, Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railway), together with Winfried Hermann, Minister for Transport in the Federal Land of Baden-Württemberg, gave the go-ahead for the operation of the new tunnel in Efringen-Kirchen. “It is a showcase project“, explained head of the German Railway, Rüdiger Grube. To avoid the sonic boom effect, all tunnel portals were provided with a cover structure. The Katzenberg Tunnel is part of the new and upgraded section of the Karlsruhe / Basel railway line and is situated in the „Markgräfler Land” on the Swiss border.
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