There was reason to celebrate on February 27, 2016 during the construction of the Albabstieg Tunnel on the new Wendlingen-Ulm route. Between the portal at Dornstadt and the access tunnel in the Lehrer Tal valley, in the early evening the tunnellers blasted the final block of rock at a depth of 40 m in the western bore. After the breakthrough, there is now an uninterrupted tunnel connection. Prior to this, roughly 1700 m of the tunnel tube had been produced from the portal at Dornstadt and around 1600 m from the Lehrer Tal.
The 5940 m long Albabstieg Tunnel comprises two single-track tunnel tubes, which are linked by a total of eleven cross-passages at 500 m gaps. The tunnel is produced by the shotcreting method by a JV headed by the Ed. Züblin AG. Apart from the driving operations from the north portal at Dornstadt in the direction of Ulm, the DB built a 390 m long access tunnel in the Lehrer Tal, from which driving is taking place both towards Dornstadt as well as in the direction of the south portal in Ulm. The project will cost around 250 million euros.
More than 80 % of the Excavation have already been completed
Dr. Stefan Kielbassa, DB project manager for the new rail sections, Alb Plateau, Albabstieg Tunnel as well as Ulm Central Station, and Mathias Abele, project manager of the JV comprising the companies Ed Züblin and Max Bögl thanked the tunnellers, workforce and engineers: “Thanks to your solid work we are still well within schedule”. The breakthrough in the parallel eastern tube will take place shortly. The major breakthrough at the south portal in Ulm is due to take place in April 2017 according to the way things stand at present. More than 80 % of the driving activities for the Albabstieg Tunnel have already been completed.