ABS/NBS Karlsruhe–Basel – ‘Offenburg Tunnel’

Project duration from 2017 to 2035

Deutsche Bahn AG

Offenburg, Baden-Württemberg, DE

The 270 km length of the Rhine Valley Railway [Rheintalbahn] from Mannheim to Basel is one of the oldest railway lines in Europe, and one of the most heavily travelled. Due to existing bottlenecks, the section linking Karlsruhe and Basel is being extended to include four lines, some involving entirely new construction work.

The centrepiece of the 15.5 km length of finalised planning section 7.1 between Appenweier and Hoberg is the ‘Offenburg Tunnel’, 11 km in length, that will when it enters service become the longest rail tunnel in Germany, as well as one of the biggest current excavation projects being undertaken by Deutsche Bahn, the German rail operator. The cost of construction will amount to almost two billion euro. OBERMEYER has been awarded exclusive control as Chief Planner.

This tunnel, which will be used primarily by goods trains, will comprise two single-track tubes that can be driven through at speeds of up to 120 km/h. This forms part of a new section of track, about 15 km in length. Added to that is an extension measuring about 6 km that will allow the Rheintalbahn passenger trains to travel at 250 km/h, and the 3 km length of the North connecting bend between ABS and NBS to the South of the city of Offenburg.

In the major project linking Karlsruhe to Basel, following a successful pilot by the BMVI on which OBERMEYER was involved back in 2017 and 2018, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being used for all aspects. The Offenburg Tunnel project was converted successfully to the BIM method.

In April 2021, the innovative EM100VT measuring vehicle completed a successful journey through the tunnel to record the rail infrastructure of the complete section, after which OBERMEYER, in addition to the planning order, went on to produce a BIM baseline model.


Rendering: DB Netz AG / LocLab
Map: DB Netz AG
Screenshot: OBERMEYER
Measuring vehicle: tmc/A. Polak