May 10, 2012

Groundbreaking marks start of Wendlingen – Ulm construction

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A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony was held near Dornstadt in the German state of Baden-Württemberg on Monday to mark the start of construction on the 59.6km Wendlingen – Ulm high-speed line.

The line, which is a key element of the Stuttgart 21 project, will be built for 250km/h operation and is designed to accommodate freight and regional traffic as well as long-distance trains, reducing the journey time for inter-city services between Stuttgart and Ulm from 54 minutes to 28 minutes.

The line will start west of Wendlingen, where the new line from Stuttgart main station will meet the existing Plochingen – Tübingen line, and will closely follow the route of the A8 highway to rejoin the existing line from Stuttgart immediately north of Ulm main station. Around half of the line will be in tunnels, the longest of which, the Bossler tunnel, will be 8.8km long. The line will have 40 bridges, including the 485m-long Filstal viaduct.

The project will cost a total of Euros 2.89bn, with the state of Baden-Württemberg providing Euros 950m and federal government contributing Euros 1.84bn, and the European Union Euros 101.5m. The federal government will be responsible for bearing any additional costs incurred during construction.

The line will bypass the existing route through Geislingen, which is notorious for its steep gradients and sharp curves.

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