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Faster journeys from North-Rhine Westphalia to Bavaria

December 12, 2022 – 8:16 am

A construction project that benefits everyone: the new Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed line entered service yesterday. The rail link connects rural areas to the network, makes life easier for commuters and speeds up long-distance transport far beyond the borders of Baden-Württemberg – up to 250 kilometers per hour.

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The decarbonization of transport continues to progress kilometer by kilometer in southwest Germany: the Stuttgart-Ulm Rail Project is one of the most important infrastructure projects in Europe. In addition to construction of the new Stuttgart rail hub (“Stuttgart 21”), the project also includes the construction of the new line Wendlingen–Ulm.

And the “new one” is something to behold: in future, commuters will be able to travel faster and more comfortably from Stuttgart and Ulm to Reutlingen and the Alb. In long-distance transport, the journey time between Stuttgart and Munich will be reduced by around 15 minutes to just two hours. In addition, around 90 trains per day will run between the two major cities in future – benefiting long-distance transport throughout almost the whole of Germany.

Parallel travel on the new Wendlingen-Ulm line

In lofty heights above the A8 highway

The new route runs parallel to the A8 over large stretches and is expected to relieve the strain on the latter considerably. This is also where the most spectacular part of the almost 60-kilometer-long new construction project is located: the approximately 500-meter-long Filstal Bridge crosses the highway near Mühlhausen im Täle in eastern Baden-Württemberg. In future, anyone sitting on a train here will be traveling some 85 meters above the heads of motorists on Germany’s third-highest bridge.

While the trains roll along the double bridge at lofty heights, the line section otherwise runs largely underground: at a good 30 kilometers, around half of the new link consists of two single-track tunnels running in parallel. This will create better links in one of the busiest areas of southern Germany – with little visible impact on the landscape.

Test run on the new Wendlingen-Ulm line

All trials completed

The new line has been completed since the fall of 2022, and in November some 250 locomotive drivers got to know the line in test runs and familiarized themselves with the peculiarities of each kilometer. Now nothing stands in the way of the line successfully entering service in time for travel around the Christmas holidays.

DB Engineering and Consulting supported the large-scale project with planning services from the construction phase through to commissioning and documentation. This included comprehensive construction supervision for the permanent way and civil and underground engineering covering control-command and signaling as well as environmental and waste management.

In a construction project of this magnitude, many disciplines and areas of responsibility intertwine. From tunneling to electronic interlocking systems: infrastructure projects such as the new Wendlingen–Ulm line are making rail transport in the region fit for the future and contributing to Strong Rail for Germany and Europe.

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