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Refurbishment of old Loreley and Rossstein Tunnels

These 2 railway tunnels were originally built between 1860 and 61 and had to be refurbished for safety reasons. The Alte Loreley and the Alte Rosssteintunnels Were set up in accordance with the German tunnelling method using rubble masonry and started twin-track operations in 1862. One hundred years later, 2 parallel single-track tunnels were produced and the old tunnels retrofitted to cope with single-track operation. The old tunnels had sustained severe damage after 140 years of operation. The refurbishing was mainly aimed at creating a statically effective reinforced concrete permanent lining with a newly produced base invert under the existing old masonry vault. The existing vault had to be cut and the floor excavated by roughly 2.00 m prior to the installation of the new permanent lining. The floor was driven in blocks with immediate supporting using rock bolts and shotcrete. The new permanent lining with base invert necessitated lowering the track gradient in the tunnels and also ramp-shaped lowering of the superstructure in the accesses to the portals. The portal structures, which are under conservation, were redeveloped during the construction scheme in conjunction with the Monument Preservation Authority. Redevelopment measures

  • backfilling the vault to stabilise the fill as well as to improve the bedding conditions in conjunction with the concreting process by grouting a suspension
  • anchoring the vault base to secure the old tunnel vault prior to excavating the floor
  • creating the required clearance profile by cutting Operations
  • floor excavation and securing the base
  • installing a statically effective reinforced concrete permanent shell made of watertight concrete with base invert in 8 m blocks
  • production of ramp areas in front of the tunnels to lower the track gradient
  • drainage operations in the portal access areas
  • redevelopment of historic portal structures ta king conservationist aspects into account.

Working conditions

  • relocating train traffic through the new Loreley and Rossstein tunnels
  • extremely constricted space conditions in the portal accesses areas
  • provision of the site via the federal highway B 42 and provisional access ramps.



  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Rhineland Palatinate
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Main-line rail
  • Client: Deutsche Bahn AG
  • Consulting Engineer: BPI-Consult, Köhler+Seitz, Hochtief Construction AG
  • Construction Monitoring: DB Regionalbereich NL Mitte, Ingenieurbüro Vössing GmbH
  • Contractor: Hochtief Construction AG, Alpine Bau Deutschland AG
  • Main construction method: Refurbishment
  • Lining: Concrete formwork
  • No. of tubes: 2
  • Tunnel total length: 368 m Alter Loreley Tunnel, 378 m Alter Rossstein Tunnel
  • Contract Volume: approx. € 6 million
  • Construction start/end: December 2003 to June 2005
  • Opening: 2005