The upgraded line Nuremberg – Ebensfeld is situated on historical railway soil. In 1835 Germany‘s first steam powered railway was opened between Nuremberg and Fürth. Not quite ten years after that, in 1844, the first train of the Ludwig-Süd-Nord- Bahn rolled from Nuremberg to Bamberg.
The section Nuremberg – Ebensfeld was an important part of the connection between the kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony. The kingdom of Bavaria financed and realised the construction of the long-distance railway from Lindau via Augsburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg and Lichtenfels to Hof. The Saxon state railway continued the line via Plauen and Altenburg to Leipzig. Even today the Bavarian train station in Leipzig is still evidence of this historical connection.
Our ancestors performed their work splendidly. The original routing of the line on the section Nuremberg – Bamberg – almost continuously - still fulfils the requirements of a line of the European high performance network today. During the 19th century the traffic revolution started with the railway. It mobilised people and goods and made the move toward the industrial era possible. The railway became the pacemaker of modernisation. Approximately 200 years later an efficient railway infrastructure is an important factor for a strong and dynamic economy on the regional as well as on the national scale. It is not only Germany who will benefit from the upgrade of the section Nuremberg – Ebensfeld as part of the high-performance line Nuremberg – Erfurt – Leipzig/Halle – Berlin. In the context of European integration investments into railway infrastructure prove to be motors for the roadmap in future directions.
The route of the construction project includes several challenges: the tracks pass through three provincial towns with numerous crossings, which are to be replaced by six elevated street crossings and eight railway overbridges, as well as three passages built into the groundwater. In every town there is a stop station, within the town limits the track is equipped with a total of almost 10 km noise protection walls. On a section of 600 metres bored piles with a diameter of 1.8 m and a total length of over 6,000 m, part of them arranged in four rows next to one another, support a slope that presents the danger of a landslide next to the rails. Behind the municipality of Breitengüßbach two tracks of the upgraded line are linked up with two tracks of the new line and newly arranged by means of a flying junction which is over 430 m in length. Afterwards the motorway BAB A73 must be crossed and between the river Main and the motorway there is a bottleneck, which must also be passed. There are also eight temporary auxiliary bridges which are connected to the road network and have been installed for the upgraded line – 32 kilometres of track with ballast pavement. In addition to roads, streams and existing lines, the course of the river Main also has to be relocated at the bottleneck – including extensive renaturation measures for fauna, flora and habitats for the protected alcon blue.
This project is an exceptional construction site in the building industry and for LEONHARD WEISS. Project coordinator Hubert Greubel reports: “We are on site with all our trades and 10 percent of all our employees at the same time and we perform a very large construction volume in extremely short time”. This requires very precise planning, brilliant logistics and a perfectly coordinated consolidation of the trades. As general contractor we consistently put into practice our philosophy of local cooperation “We want to build, therefore we solve problems with all parties involved directly and by means of an open dialogue“, confirms Hubert Greubel. This applies to the customer, Deutsche Bahn, as well as for project engineers and the construction supervision up to the municipalities and the general public concerned. “One boat, one direction, and everybody rows“, he describes this policy. When the traffic concept was developed in cooperation with the police, for example, the speed limit within the limits of the towns was set at 30 km/h, in order to protect the residents, and we have got six of our own street sweepers running through the municipalities in continuous operation, in order to keep the dirt of the building site in bearable limits for the residents and the environment.
“The important thing in this case is, that we can make use of our own resources“, he explains further. We have got a comprehensive own machine outfit including maintenance facilities and our own railway operations managers. With such a large construction site LEONHARD WEISS further strengthens their competence: “We now know from experience, that we can carry out such projects with the corresponding planning, that is part of our standard portfolio by now“, says Andreas Köder, Site Manager General Contractor Infrastructure Projects. The “Yellow Construction Site“ has its effects: one can positively feel how proud the employees are of their performance in this very special project.
But we also know the risks connected to projects of this kind. Without evaluating these professionally – from the general decision, to handle such a project, over the organisation and its limits up to cost evaluation – there can quickly be an overlap of potential chances.
The time schedule continues to be tight. In order to be able to keep the finishing date, our construction site team still has to meet several challenges. One important factor this year will also be the unpredictable weather. One week is extremely wet with lots of rain, the next week the temperature goes up to tropical values. This is not an easy task for our employees, who have to come to terms with these adversities.