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Light Rail Dusseldorf, construction lot Kölner- Siegburger Straße (K-S)

The Lot K-S is a part of the urban railway line, which links the districts of Benrath, Holthausen and Wersten with the Central Station and the downtown area. By choosing the shield heading method, the regional capital of Düsseldorf took heed of the special situation existing in the suburb of Oberbilk. Building an Underground by the customary cut-and-cover method would have led to considerable restrictions in the narrow Kölner Strasse - a busy shopping street- for residents, the many retail businesses, customers and suppliers. For the first time in Germany, for constructing an urban railway, the shield machine's diameter (9.44 m) was dimensioned in such a fashion that both sets of tracks can be installed in the driven tunnel. In this way, the time-consuming utilisation of plots belonging to third parties could be minimised and the construction time greatly shortened. The shield machine weighing a total of 1,100 t was able to achieve a maximum rate of advance of 22.5 m/d. ln the process, it was steered by 15 groups of jacks, which generated a force of up to 6,300 t. During the shield passage various types of soil were encountered. Quaternary gravels and gravelly sands as well as tertiary fine sands with varying thicknesses. The groundwater level was to be found up to 14 m above the extraction base. On average, the tunnel is located between 9 and 11 m beneath street level. The foundations of a federal railway bridge were passed below at a depth of only 5 m. To assess the expected settlements, a measurement field with multiple extensometers at different depths was set up to be in a position to measure surface deformations as well as those at a greater depth. During the undercutting phase and thereafter, Settlements which were only in the lower millimetre range were registered in the measurement field. ln this way, it was confirmed that the parameters for the supporting fluid, the shield tail grouting and the geometry of the cutting wheel and the shield machine were in keeping with the geological conditions prevailing in the soil . The forecast settlements of up to 25 mm did not occur at all. In the roof zone in the Kölner Strasse, the maximum recorded was 10 mm, at the railway bridge foundations 4 mm. The shield heading finished at the slotted wall of the Oberbilker Markt Underground Station, which had already been completed in carcass state. The machine was dismantled on the spot. The shield jacket was abandoned in the ground. The slotted wall in front of the station was opened and the station building linked to the tunnel.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Nordrhein-Westfalen
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Underground, urban and rapid transit
  • Client: Stadt Düsseldorf, Straßen- und Ingenieurbauamt
  • Contractor: Bilfinger + Berger Bau AG, Wayss & Freytag AG, Hochtief AG, Philipp Holzmann AG, Bouygues
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Shield machine (SM)
  • Lining: Reinforced concrete segments
  • No. of tubes: 1
  • Tunnel total length: 1796 m
  • Cross-section: Outer diameter 9.44 m / Inner diameter 8.25 m
  • Contract Volume: approx. 160 mill. DM
  • Construction start/end: 1997 till 2001