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Katzenberg Tunnel

The Deutsche Bahn AG is engaged in upgrading the so-called Rheintalbahn between Karlsruhe and Basle from a 2 to a continuous 4-track route. The route is part of the Trans-European Network (TEN), which is of high international significance and serves as the main access line to the Gotthard Base Route (NEAT), which is currently being constructed. The largest individual structure along this route is the 2-tube Katzenberg Tunnel with a length of 9,385 m, on which 8,964 m is produced by trenchless means. The tunnel is designed to cope with trains travelling at speeds of up to 300 km/h. The tunnel's maximum overburden amounts to 110 m. Apart from quaternary covering layers at the tunnel's entrance zones, mainly tertiary sedimentary rocks such as mudstone, silt and occasionally sandstone in varying stages of weathering were encountered during the exploration phase. The rock strength is low. in the southern tunnel section Jura massive limestone formations have to be penetrated over a length of some 800 m. Filled karstified structures that present no problems in tunnelling terms are expected especially in the transition zones to the tertiary. The southern pre-cut with a total length of 320 m has been produced in the meantime. Overlapping drilled piles are used to secure the excavation in the direct proximity of the tunnelling machine, the rest constitutes Berlin-type support walls. The forefront of the pre-cut is produced in the form of sloping pit. The tunnelling machines are assembled in the pre-cut. The first machine started operating in the eastern tube in June 2005.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Baden-Württemberg
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Main-line rail
  • Client: DB Netz AG
  • Consulting Engineer: DB ProjektBau GmbH, Lahmeyer lnt., PSP, IMM Prof. Dr.-lng. B. MaidI- Dipl.-lng. R. MaidI
  • Test Engineer: IBK, Prof. Dr.-lng. Dieter Kirschke
  • Contractor: Ed. Züblin AG, Wayss & Freitag Ingenieurbau AG, Marti Tunnelbau AG, Jäger Bau GmbH
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Shield machine
  • No. of tubes: 2
  • Tunnel total length: 9,385 m, 8,964 m of which produced by trenchless means
  • Cross-section: 96.8 m² excavation
  • Contract Volume: € 249 millon
  • Construction start/end: 2003 to 2008