German Unity Transport Project 8

 Nuremberg – Erfurt – Halle/Leipzig – Berlin

Forchheim-Eggolsheim construction phase

The Forchheim-Eggolsheim construction phase forms part of the Nuremberg-Ebensfeld line upgrade (VDE 8.1). The existing double track electrified line is being widened to four tracks in this 13.6 km-long planning phase. Speeds of up to 230 km/h will be possible on two tracks. The two other tracks have a design speed of 160 km/h and will continue to be used for local and rapid-transit traffic.

All these projects need space. Railways need only one third of the space taken up by a motorway. At a few points in three communities, encroachment on private and commercial land and demolition of housing, outhouses and commercial buildings will be unavoidable. The four-track upgrade of the railway system requires minimal widening. In Eggolsheim, Altendorf and Hirschaid, widening will take place on the eastern side and in Strullendorf on the western side, due to existing development.


Facts and figures

Construction phase length 13,6 km
Existing line speed (Line 5900) up to 160 km/h
Upgraded line speed (Line 5919) up to 230 km/h
Railway bridges 12
Road, track and footbridges 15
Level crossings to be removed 3
Forchheim station New track layout and platforms
Eggolsheim-Süd New relief loops
Kehrsbach halt, Eggolsheim New station with island platform
Noise barriers and walls Alongside 9 km of the route
Electronic signalling centres (ESTW) Kersbach and Eggolsheim
Cable ducts (technical facilities, drainage) Entire route


A total of 15 underbridges are being renewed. The most prominent structures are two arched bridges over the A73 motorway to the north of Forchheim.


Straßenüberführung der Kreisstraße Fo17, „Piastenbrücke“, Teilerneuerung durch stützenlose Stabbogenkonstruktion
Forchheim bowstring girder bridge  (local road Fo17; Piastenbrücke)   (3D-Simulation: DB AG)

Twelve road, track and footpath overbridges are either being upgraded or newly created, including the Forchheim Piastenbrücke (local road Fo17). A bowstring girder bridge will replace the prestressed concrete bridge, to clear the site around the new tracks.

Stations and halts
Eggolsheim-Süd relief loops

The line is being extended by two relief loops at Eggolsheim-Süd. This will enable trains to overtake. Trains can also be stabled temporarily on the additional tracks, for example to allow an express to overtake a slower freight train. Such relief loops will be provided approximately every 20 km on the new and upgraded line.

Forchheim station

Hauptbahnhof Forchheim Bilckrichtung Süd
Central station Forchheim view towards south - New track plan for regional train (white), Suburban train (green) und speed railway (red) (Visualization: DB AG)

The requirements demand a completely new track layout in Forchheim, with a total of eight tracks. Only track 1, reopened in 2010, will remain. High-speed traffic will use two dedicated tracks, which do not serve platforms. Rapid transit and local trains (regional expresses to Nuremberg and Bamberg and branch line trains to Ebermannstadt) will run through three platforms. The platforms will be connected by a new pedestrian subway, which will also replace an existing local authority subway which crosses the railway. Lifts will make the platforms accessible to all. A turnback siding will be provided for rapid transit trains.


Haltepunkt Eggolsheim mit Unterführung
The halts at Eggolsheim with a subway (3D-Simulation: DB AG)

The existing halts at Kersbach and Eggolsheim will be rebuilt. They will be given island platforms for rapid transit trains. Access will be by stairs and lift. The tracks for high-speed traffic will pass along the outside.

Removal of level crossings

There will no longer be any level crossings on the section following the upgrade. Two accommodation crossings will be removed. The Bahnhofstrasse level crossing in Eggolsheim-Neuses will be replaced by a subway for pedestrians and cyclists, and for access to the platform. Road traffic will be diverted along the nearby local road (Fo4).

Railway construction and the environment

Sandmagerrasen im Streckenabschnitt
Sandmagerrasen in the track section (Photo: DB AG)

Although interference with nature and the landscape is unavoidable when railway lines are built, it can be mitigated or offset. If habitats for flora and fauna cannot be replaced locally, equivalents are created elsewhere.

All avoidance, mitigation and compensatory measures are documented in an accompanying environmental impact analysis. The measures are agreed with the environmental authorities.

Impairments in the planning section amount to 56 hectares, to be compensated by an area of about 59 hectares. Species protection measures are being implemented before the line upgrade. These include new habitats for sand lizards and new spawning grounds for amphibians. Trees are examined for bat roosts before felling. In isolated cases, parts of trees with roosts can be suitably relocated. The trackbed is also being greened. The railway is contributing land already acquired to the compensation concept, to reduce the requirement for more ground.

Permanent way

Prinzipdarstellung einer viergleisig ausgebauten Bahnstrecke
Basic Principle of an four track line (Graphic: DB AG)

Permanent way will take the form of rails on concrete sleepers on ballast throughout the section.

Technical equipment

The line will be fitted with state-of-the-art technology. The overhead line equipment will be complexly renewed. The traction current transmission lines parallel to the route around Forchheim will also be replaced.

The line will be fully electronically signalled. Signalling centres will be provided at Kersbach and Eggolsheim, replacing the existing ones at Forbach and Eggolsheim.

Construction work

Following completion of the planning approval procedures for phase (PFA) 18/19, commencement of preparatory measures is planned for 2015. Commencement of construction for the four-track upgrade between the Baiersdorf area (PFA 167) and Forchheim station is anticipated in 2016. Once this section has been completed, the upgrade of the section between Forchheim station and Eggolsheim will start in 2019. Five construction phases are planned, extending over eight years. The work is very demanding, as it is taking place without suspending services, i.e. with trains running. A warning system tells workers when trains are approaching. As there is considerably less traffic at night, some quieter work can be postponed until then. Rail services will also be suspended at night and weekends. Occasional blockades will be unavoidable.

Rail replacement buses will then be available for passengers. Most of the construction sites will be accessed from the existing road network. However, site access roads will also be laid. They will be removed when work has been completed. An access road will also be laid alongside the new formation, to transport material.

Rescue concept

Escape routes and accesses are being created along the formation, to facilitate the evacuation of passengers and train crew and to give the emergency services access to any point on the line.

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The project VDE 8 is supported by :