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New Ebensfeld-Erfurt Line, Northern Thuringian Forest Brandkopf and Lohmeberg Tunnels

The Northern Thuringian Forest contract section is located at the town of Gehren. It embraces the 1,493 m long Brandkopf-Tunnel and the 688 m long Lohmeberg Tunnel. The Lohmeberg, Brandkopf and Silberberg (neighbouring contract section) tunnels are separated by the Schnobsetal and Wohlrosetal valleys. Bridges have been planned in order to cross them. The excavated cross-section of the twin-track tunnels ranges from 130 to 150 m² with an effective cross-section of 92 m . The rescue concept foresees an emergency passage in the middle of the Brandkopf Tunnel, which leads out into the open with a 10% gradient. The tunnels are driven by drill+blast and are located in vulcanites and Rotliegend sediments. The drives for the Brandkopf Tunnel take place on the rise towards the south but on the dip towards the north for the Lohmeberg Tunnel. With the exception of the emergency passage, which is executed with a full-face excavation, the main tunnels are to be tackled as part-excavations - crown, bench and floor. Depending on the excavation class the usual supporting agents used in conventional tunnelling such as anchors, lances, support arches and reinforced shotcrete of varying thickness are installed. The protective measures for the environment and waterways posed increased demands on the driving operations. The tunnel tubes are lined with a 35 to 50 cm thick reinforced in situ concrete inner shell in the vault and with base plate or base invert depending on the geological conditions for the floor. Any underground water that is present is drained off via an umbrella seal in conjunction with wall and floor drainage. An unreinforced inner shell and a bituminous bonded carriageway surface are intended for lining the emergency passage, which is interrupted by a watertight floor support at certain sections. The running tunnels are to be provided with a slab track so that they can cope with speeds of up to 300 km/h.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Thuringia
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Twin-Track Railway Tunnel with ICE Traffic
  • Client: DB Netz AG, RB Südost
  • Contractor: Bilfinger Berger AG, Max Bögl Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG, Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Drill-and-blast
  • Lining: Shotcrete
  • No. of tubes: 1
  • Tunnel total length: 1.493 m (Brandkopf Tunnel), 688 m (LohmebergTunnel), 400 m (emergency exit gallery)
  • Cross-section: 130 to 150 m²
  • Construction start/end: 2009 till 2012