DB completes Stuttgart 21 tunneling

Stuttgart 21 projectDeutsche Bahn (DB) has completed the excavation of 56.2 km of tunnels under the Stuttgart 21 project with the final tunnel breakthrough at the airport marked on September 14, 2023.

The completion of the tunnel excavation was celebrated by the representatives of Deutsche Bahn, federal, state and local politicians, the European Commission, Stuttgart Airport and the construction industry with other guests.

“56 km of tunnel, built in the middle of the big city, under the trade fair, in the middle of an airport site, under the Neckar, under the television tower – the challenges were numerous. The tunnel excavation is now complete, and the underground work of the teams is essential for the mobility transition, from which millions of people and freight transport benefit,” Berthold Huber, Head of Infrastructure at Deutsche Bahn said.

The tracks have been already laid in several tunnels with more than 60 km of slab track being installed so far and some of them already reach the future main station.

“Anyone who observes the construction progress here will inevitably get an impression of the entire S21 work: highly complex traffic planning and engineering skills create a high-performance infrastructure with smart technology, from which passengers can benefit from more and more,” Volker Wissing, the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport said.

The symbolic start of construction for the Stuttgart 21 tunnel was held on December 4, 2013, in the Obertürkheim tunnel.The tunnels were dug both with a large tunnel boring machine and with the so-called conventional construction methods, with more than 1 km of tunnel excavated per month.

As part of the Stuttgart 21 project, eight tunnels were excavated, most of which consist of two tubes:

  • Bad Cannstatt tunnel
  • Feuerbach tunnel
  • Airport tunnel
  • Filder tunnel
  • Obertürkheim tunnel
  • S-Bahn tunnel between Mittnachtstrasse stop and S-Bahn-Station Hauptbahnhof
  • Rosenstein S-Bahn tunnel
  • Untertürkheimer Kurve tunnel

Stuttgart 21 project covers the reorganization of the Stuttgart rail node including the construction of four new stations, 57 km of new tracks designed at speeds of up to 250 km/h, 59 kilometres of tunnel tubes, 16 tunnels and culverts and 44 bridges. The project will significantly reduce travel time on long-distance and regional routes with only a 30-minute journey from Ulm to Stuttgart airport instead of 1:35 hours and an 8-minute journey instead of 27 minutes from Stuttgart central station to the Stuttgart airport. The newly opened Wendlingen–Ulm railway is the first step towards opening Stuttgart 21

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