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Infrastructure & Energy

Replacing the Schanz Tunnel

| Infrastructure & Energy

The specialists of the Infrastructure & Energy unit have landed the planning and design contract for replacing the Schanz Tunnel. Located near Fichtenberg in the district of Schwäbisch Hall, this tunnel dates back to 1880 and forms part of the Murr Valley Railway of Deutsche Bahn line no. 4930. This line is key since it forms the shortest rail link between Stuttgart and Nuremberg.

The 860-meter-long single-track tunnel leads through gypsum Keuper rock strata with an overlying ground depth of up to 90 meters. The Keuper rock contains anhydrite, which swells substantially when coming into contact with water. This has caused the tunnel floor to be continuously lifted up, meaning it has had to be lowered numerous times over the tunnel’s 140-year history. Maintaining the tunnel’s serviceability is no longer viable: it has to be replaced.

As part of an engineering consortium, ZPP has been awarded the planning & design services and surveys to develop possible options for replacing the tunnel. For SOCOTEC Germany this means another infrastructure project that will sustainably secure and improve mobility in Germany.

Schanztunnel near Fichtenberg in the Schwäbisch Hall district
Schanztunnel near Fichtenberg in the Schwäbisch Hall district - Picture source: K. Jähne / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3