Berlin–Munich high-speed link reaches major milestone

The new high-speed line between Berlin and Munich is progressing in leaps and bounds. Currently, all the parties involved are expecting it to be opened in two stages in 2015 and 2017, i.e. according to schedule.

With this project, German Unity Transport Project (GUTP) No. 8, the long-sought competitive journey time of approximately four hours between Germany’s capital and the Bavarian metropolis is being realised. It will also open up additional cap city for freight traffic.

Following the intensive work carried out over the past several years, since March 2012 there has been “light at the end of the tunnel” in a very real sense. The breakthrough of the 1,490 metre long Fleckberg tunnel in Thuringia, which alone is costing EUR 31 million, means that all tunnel structures on the route have been broken through. The Berlin – Munich line comprises four sections:

GUTP 8.1: Nuremberg – Ebensfeld section upgrade (83 kilometres), including additional S-Bahn tracks between
Nuremberg and Forchheim, Construction of new Ebensfeld – Erfurt line (107 kilometres),

GUTP 8.2: Construction of new Erfurt – Leipzig/Halle line (123 kilometres), of which 23 kilometres have been in service since June 2003

GUTP 8.3: Leipzig/Halle – Berlin section upgrade (187 kilometres), in service since May 2006.

The newly constructed section between Ebensfeld and Erfurt alone includes 25 tunnels with a total length of 56 kilometres. The majority are already structurally complete or in course of interior construction. In contrast, the
GUTP 8.2 new line north of Erfurt has only three tunnels with a total length of 15.4 kilometres. These are already undergoing commissioning.

On the Erfurt – Leipzig/Halle section, the first few kilometres are already being laid with ballastless track, which is to
be used for virtually the whole route. In addition, a some of the overhead lines have already been installed. The line is
to be opened in two stages. By the end of 2015 at the latest, trains are scheduled to run between Leipzig/Halle and
Erfurt, and along the whole of the GUTP No. 8 route two years later.

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