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Light Rail Stuttgart, tunnelling underneath the Airport

The Deutsche Bahn AG is constructing the extension of the Stuttgart S-Bahn from the Airport stop to Filderstadt-Bernhausen beneath the airport grounds. The Airport stop and an adjoining siding track had already been completed by means of cut-and-cover. The following 21.5 m long section had to be driven by mining means. In this connection, the take-off and landing runway (S-L-Bahn) at the airport has to be tunnelled under. 2 single-track tunnel tubes are envisaged headed by mining means, although only one of them is to be built at the present time (Lot 601). The mined tunnel is to be driven with a circular cross-section. The diameter of the clear cross-section amounts to 7.0 m, the excavated diameter to approx. 8.7 m. The bulk of the tunnel runs at a depth of roughly 25 m in comparatively low water permeable black Jura layers comprising clayey mudstone. In order to avoid temporary lowering of the groundwater, the tunnel was secured during the heading by means of watertight shotcrete. The shotcrete shell was dimensioned to sustain rock and water pressure. With the aid of a non-stationary groundwater model, it could be demonstrated before the heading was undertaken that ingressing water in the tunnel tube restricted to the face would not lead to the groundwater being lowered to any degree worth mentioning. Measurements carried out during construction confirmed this prediction. The adjoining roughly 500 m long section with the underground station at Filderstadt-Bernhausen (Lot 602) is built by cut-and-cover. In some cases, the existing buildings extend as far as the excavation. Here the subsurface- in keeping with the entire section tackled by cut-and-cover - comprises an up to 8 m thick top layer of fills, Filder loam and Lias weathered clay with intermittent bedding of lime sandstone benches and clay silt rocks. Supporting of the excavation walls in the loose ground zone comprises a breasting back-anchored by means of pre-tensioning bolts.


  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Baden-Württemberg
  • Tunnel utilization: Traffic
  • Type of utilization: Underground, urban and rapid transit
  • Client: Deutsche Bahn AG
  • Consulting Engineer: WBI, Dr.-lng. c. Erichsen
  • Contractor: Philipp Holzmann AG, Ed. Ast & Bau Ges. m. b. H.
  • Main construction method: Trenchless
  • Type of excavation: Drill & blast
  • No. of tubes: 1 (2nd tube planned)
  • Tunnel total length: 2.6 km
  • Diameter: 8.7 m
  • Cross-section: circle