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Cologne North-South Light Urban Railway - Section North

The Cologne light railway North-South Line will in future, link the centre with the south of the city by an underground route. The client divided up the total route into 2 contract sections to develop the project: South - from the Bechergasse to the Markt Station in the south of the city and North- from Breslauer Platz to the Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz. The Breslauer Platz Station and the running tunnels to the Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz are being produced in the North contract section. The Breslauer Platz Station is to be built by means of a covered drilled piling wall excavation pit. The tunnel section at the Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz is being constructed by means of the top cover method with a diaphragm wall excavation pit. The tunnel sections to be driven between the 2 stations by mining means are divided into a 261 m long hydro-shield excavation and a 105 m long section below the Cologne Philharmonie Hall and the Museum Ludwig, which is to be produced by an excavator drive under compressed air. The tunnel route is located in water bearing, quaternary sediments consisting of sands, gravel sands and gravels. In addition, the deep-lying fill from the filled up Roman harbour has to be penetrated over a short distance. The starting shaft is to be found at Breslauer Platz. From this point, the western shield drive commences towards the south, passing beneath the Deutsche Bahn facilities finishing up in a Jet grouted zone to the north of the museum complex. The eastern shield-driven tunnel has also to pass below an underground car park with a hotel built on top over a distance of some 80 m. As the overburden is only 1.2 m, the hotel has to be temporarily shored up with in situ concrete walls in the underground garage as a precaution. Furthermore, as tunnelling progresses a bridge abutment as well as the operational section of the light railway tunnel will be undercut. The tunnel heading north will be produced by an excavator drive from the Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz pit under compressed air. The base plate of the Cologne Philharmonie Hall will partially have to be exposed under the museum between the existing diaphragm walls for this route tunnel. With regard to subsequent use and the resultant noise emissions, this area will be equipped with a "double" mass-spring system, which is being applied for the first time.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: North Rhine Westphalia
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Underground, urban and rapid transit
  • Client: Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG
  • Consulting Engineer: Schüßler-Plan, Obermeyer Planen+ Beraten, Rail Consult, ELE Erdbaulaboratorium Essen, IMM- Prof. Dr.-Ing. B. MaidI- Dipl.-Ing. R. MaidI
  • Contractor: Hochtief Construction AG, Bauer Spezialtiefbau GmbH · Brückner Grundbau GmbH, Keller Grundbau GmbH
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Shield machine (SM)
  • No. of tubes: 2
  • Tunnel total length: 2 x 261 m shield drive; 2 x 105m excavator drive under compressed air
  • Cross-section: 6.81 m diameter
  • Contract Volume: approx. € 90 million
  • Construction start/end: November 2003 to late 2009