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Cologne North-South Light Railway- Section South

The City of Cologne is extending its existing light railway system through an additional North-South route in order to attain 2 essential goals: relieving existing traffic bottlenecks and making the downtown area more attractive Section South, which stretches from the Marktstraße to the Bechergasse, accounts for the bulk of the new route. The South contract section entails producing two parallel running, single-track tunnel tubes each 2,690 m long as well as setting up 6 underground Stations, a further stop, a crossover and an integrating alignment. Four of the stations have to be partly constructed by mining means on account of the restricted space available. Towards this end, the tubes with a continuous internal diameter of 7.30 m will be subsequently enlarged protected by freezing and/or compressed air. The tubes are excavated with the aid of a hydro-shield tunnelling machine beneath the groundwater table - with overburden ranging from 5.00 to 19.00 m in Rhine Plain quaternary sediments (gravel, sand and silt). A further outstanding feature of the project is attributable to the historically influenced subsurface. It is forecast that ancient finds (including foundations and docks) from Roman times will be unearthed during the construction phase.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Cologne, North Rhine Westphalia
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Underground, urban and rapid transit
  • Client: Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG
  • Consulting Engineer: Bilfinger Berg er AG, Wayss & Freytag Engineering AG, Ed. Züblin AG, ELE Erdbaulaboratorium Essen, IMM Prof. Dr.-lng. B. MaidI- Dipl.-lng. R. MaidI
  • Contractor: Bilfinger Berger AG, Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG, Ed. Züblin AG
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Shield machine (SM)
  • No. of tubes: 2
  • Tunnel total length: contract length: 3,260 m including 2 x 2,690 m as shield drive
  • Cross-section: excavated diameter: 8.40 m, internal diameter: 7.30 m
  • Contract Volume: approx. € 390 million
  • Construction start/end: 2004 to 2010