German Unity Transport Project 8

 Nuremberg – Erfurt – Halle/Leipzig – Berlin

Planning approval phase 21 Altendorf – Hirschaid – Strullendorf

The Altendorf – Hirschaid – Strullendorf construction phase forms part of the upgraded Nuremberg-Ebensfeld line (VDE 8.1). The existing double track electrified line is being widened to four tracks on this 10 km section. Speeds of up to 230 km/h will be possible on two tracks. The other two tracks have a design speed of 160 km/h and will continue to be used by local, rapid transit and freight trains.

All these projects need land, but a railway only needs a third of the space required for 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.

(Video: DB AG)

Facts and figures

Length: approx. 10 km
Speed on existing line (line 5900): Up to 160 km/h
Speed on upgraded line (line 5919): approx. 230 km/h
Underbridges: 10
Overbridges: 8
Removal of level crossings: 3
Buttenheim/Altendorf halt: 1 new island platform
Strullendorf junction/halt: Modification of island platform
Hirschaid halt: Two new side platforms and one island platform
Noise barriers and walls on the line: 4,3 km
Electronic signalling centres: 1
Cable ducts/technical equipment: Entire length of the route

Engineering structures

A total of three underbridges will be newly constructed and seven rebuilt or extended. Two overbridges will be upgraded, two newly built and four rebuilt.

ST 2260 overbridge New build
Lindlesgraben overbridge Rebuild
Griesweg overbridge Modification
Friesnitzgraben overbridge Rebuild
St 2244 Rebuild
Möstenbach overbridge New build
Nordring Strullendorf overbridge Modification
B505 overbridge Rebuild
Deichselbach underbridge Rebuild
Jurastrasse underbridge New build
Lindlesgraben underbridge Rebuild
Maximilianstrasse underbridge Extension
Hirschaid halt pedestrian subway New build
Friesnitzgraben underbridge Rebuild
Auweg underbridge Rebuild
Stockweg underbridge New build
Zeegenbach underbridge Rebuild
Bahnhofstrasse Strullendorf underbridge Extension


Removal of level crossings

Rückbau von Bahnübergängen und Ersatzmaßnahmen
(3D-Simulation: DB AG)

The level crossings in Altendorf will be replaced by the newly-constructed ST 2260 road overbridge and the Jurastrasse (footpath and cycle track) underbridge. The Stockweg level crossing in Strullendorf will be replaced by the reconstructed Auweg and Stockweg (footpath and cycle track) underbridge. There will no longer be any protected level crossings on the section following the upgrade.

Stations and halts

Haltepunkt Buttenheim
(3D-Simulation: DB AG)

A new island platform is being built at Buttenheim halt in Altendorf, to replace the two side platforms.

Haltepunkt Hirschaid
(3D-Simulation: DB AG)

An island platform is also being constructed at Hirschaid. The Bamberg side platform is being replaced and the Nuremberg platform modified.

Haltepunkt Strullendorf
(3D-Simulation: DB AG)

The two side platforms at Strullendorf junction/halt are being replaced by an island platform.

Permanent way

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 line will be fully electronically signalled. A signalling centre is planned for Strullendorf.

Construction work

Following completion of the planning approval process, construction work will commence at the end of 2016.

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. Night and weekend services on the line will also be suspended. 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 evacuation of passengers and train crew and to give the emergency services access to any point on the line.

Protection against noise and vibration

Schall- und Erschütterungsschutz
(3D-Simulation: DB AG)

A concept for protection against noise and vibration has been developed on the basis of the applicable statutory provisions.
Local residents will be comprehensively protected against noise. Acoustic walls and barriers are being erected along the formation for 9.8 km, and sometimes central walls between the tracks. They will reduce noise in built-up areas.

Altendorf East/central/west noise protection walls 2,566 m
Acoustic barrier 161 m
Hirschaid East/central/west noise protection walls 4,555 m
Strullendorf East/central noise protection walls 2,531 m


Measures to protect buildings against vibration are being determined in the planning phase. The resultant protective measures take the form of under-sleeper pads. The underside of sleepers is coated with a flexible plastic, which absorbs vibration. A total of 3,220 metres of track is being treated in this way in Altendorf and Hirschaid.


Railway construction and environment

Bahnbau und Umwelt
(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. Species protection measures are being implemented before the line upgrade. The railway is contributing land already acquired to the compensation concept, to reduce the requirement for more land.

The most extensive planned initiative, covering the abandoned 18-hectare Ludwag quarry in Schesslitz, is situated in planning approval phase 21, Altendorf – Hirschaid – Strullendorf. Conservation measures such as scrub clearance and grassing will secure and optimise a significant habitat in the long term. A conservation and development concept, within which the necessary measures are being refined, is currently being prepared in cooperation with the environmental protection authorities. The compensatory measures are being secured by purchase in the long term.

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The project VDE 8 is supported by :