Germany

Eppstein Rail Tunnel completed

The new 2-track Eppstein rail tunnel was opened on April 2, 2013 after 2 years of construction. It replaces a 134 year old structure. For this purpose, services on the S-Bahn line 2 between Hofheim and Niedernhausen and the regional trains between Frankfurt on Main and Niedernhausen were cancelled over the Easter holidays and replaced by buses. The new passage was driven through the rock slightly offset to the old one because the existing tunnel could not have been renovated while rail services were operating. The new bore also affords the advantage that the tracks run directly towards the platforms. Previously they were located in a curve at the station, something which made it more difficult to board trains. New platforms will also be set up once the tunnel is fully finished.
The Deutsche Bahn (DB) invested 30 million € in the construction of the 339 m long tunnel. The tunnel breakthrough came in mid-2012 roughly a year after work began. 7,000 m³ of concrete was used for supporting purposes. The old tunnel will largely be filled up with some 17,000 m³ of excavated material taken from the new bore – apart from cavities under the tunnel ceiling, which will be left free for bats.⇥G.B.

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