New network for Germany: From Frankfurt to Saarland
With record investments, Germany’s federal and state governments are promoting rail’s expansion throughout the country. After reporting on selected projects in the north and south of the country, today we are continuing in the heart of Germany.
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Modernizations at Europe’s largest transport hub, a new train station for a new airport terminal and EUR 650 million for the rail network in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland: A lot is happening in Germany to strengthen rail. Join us on a journey through a few of the projects that DB E&C is working on in the heart of Germany.
Frankfurt am Main: making a hub fit for the future
The list of construction projects in the major transport hub of Frankfurt is long. Deutsche Bahn (DB AG) is working on extensive modernization projects all around the city, including Frankfurt Central station, Frankfurt-Süd and the Deutschherrn Bridge, which is protected as a historic monument. And all this for good reason: The hub is one of the main arteries in the European rail network, with 450,000 travelers passing through each day. DB AG is strengthening the infrastructure throughout the region to ensure that stations, tracks and switches will be able to meet current and future needs.
At Frankfurt Central, work to gradually increase capacity and space out traffic has been under way since the end of 2021, including removing and renewing the switches in the station apron and separating traffic flows at the station. Trains are being routed through the station based on the direction of travel, reducing crossing conflicts and helping trains to run on time. The platforms are also being extended so that more passengers can make their connections easily. Since regional traffic will be bundled on the north side of the station during the redesign work, DB AG is expanding track 25, which has not been used for traffic in recent years. A new center platform for track 24 and a new platform roof are being built, and new switch connections and technical equipment are being installed. The site of the former maintenance depot 1, southwest of Frankfurt Central, will be redeveloped into a large open space. At around 20,000 m2, the space will be used for setting up construction sites, among other things.
Connections are also being optimized at Frankfurt-Süd station. For this purpose, a branch line is being built at the Schlachthof grade separation structure, the switch connections at the west and east ends of the station are being optimized, and incoming and outgoing trains are being grouped based on direction. We have also been commissioned by DB Netz to study how to increase space between existing track centers at the Deutschherrn Bridge, which crosses the Main River in Frankfurt’s Sachsenhausen district. DB E&C’s responsibilities in all of these projects have included project design on lines and transport facilities and creation of as-built models, geotechnical investigations and environmental analyses. We have also developed solutions for recycling, remediation and disposal for the demolition of the former maintenance depot. The upgrades are part of the joint FrankfurtRheinMainplus project of the State of Hesse, the City of Frankfurt am Main, the Rhine-Main Transit Authority and Deutsche Bahn.
A station for the new airport terminal
Frankfurt Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, with more than 70 million air travelers a year. A third terminal is scheduled to open in 2025, and passenger volume is expected to grow to 86 million by 2030 – which will have an impact on rail traffic. Estimates have some 95,000 additional passengers traveling each workday, two-thirds of them by rail. That is why the new terminal will have its own regional train station. Four kilometers of new line will be built by 2030. DB E&C is handling design work for the entire project, which includes the technical equitment of the line and the station area, control-command and signaling systems, overhead line systems and environmental planning.
Traveling at high speed on the Riedbahn
Construction of the new Frankfurt-Mannheim corridor, known as the Riedbahn, will close a gap in the European rail network in the coming years. Expansion of the high-speed network, which will also include construction of several computer-based rail signaling systems, will make passenger transport more efficient during the day and strengthen freight transport at night. DB E&C’s role in the project is to provide design services for control-command and signaling systems and overhead line equipment.
Half a billion euros for Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland
Record funding for Strong Rail: The federal and state governments are investing EUR 650 million in upgrading the rail networks in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland alone. DB is modernizing 100 kilometers of line, 115 switches, eleven bridges and 75 stations in the two states. It will recruit 130 new engineers and skilled workers for upgrades and maintenance. New rail lines are being built, and the infrastructure destroyed by flooding in the summer of 2021 is being restored at full speed. All of this work is essential because the future lies on the rails – and we at DB E&C are playing our part every day.