High-speed railway linking Ebensfeld–Erfurt

Finalisation in 2017

DB Projektbau GmbH, South-East subsidiary


By train from Munich to Berlin in less than four hours – for a long time almost unimaginable, but a reality since the end of 2017. The high-speed railway linking Nuremberg and Erfurt, part of Axis 1 of the Trans-European route linking Berlin to Palermo, was Germany’s biggest rail construction project. OBERMEYER was awarded the exclusive planning order for the high-speed track linking Ebensfeld and Erfurt, a distance of easily 100 km. This crosses the Thuringia Forest range of hills and is the first high-speed rail link in Europe to be routed across a region affected by snow at an altitude of more than 600 metres. About half of the route runs through or over civil engineering structures. Specifically, Section 22 comprises a tunnel with a total length of about 40 km as well as 30 bridges over valleys with a combined length of about 10 km. The costs per kilometre amount to roughly €30 million.

The geometry and geology of the Thuringian ‘Schiefergebirge’ (shale mountains) region (nine distinct valleys) were a precise fit for the arched bridges developed in-house by OBERMEYER and capable of spanning widths of up to 165 metres. Bridges over three of the six valleys required exceptional planning measures. OBERMEYER further developed the arched bridge concept for these difficult areas and extended the width spanned by these bridges from 165 to 270 metres. This created an ideal solution for crossing the Froschgrundsee, a lake with a surface area of 24 hectares, for long and difficult raised track bed through the Grümpental valley, and also for the Ilmtal, another valley near Langewiesen. Here, there is the longest bridge on the entire route, measuring 1,700 metres in length.

Grümpentalbrücke, bridge over the Froschgrundsee: Nuremberg aerial photo, Hajo Dietz
Route plan, Froschgrundsee bridge under construction: OBERMEYER