It is about Germany longest tunnel driven by machine at the Katzenberg between Freiburg and Basel: two almost nine-kilometer-long tubes traversing complex geology. With the tunnel, trains can hurry through the southern Rhine Valley at a speed of up to 250km/h instead of trundling along on the winding old track through vineyards and old villages. Residents will be relieved, precious time will be saved and a good step forward will be made to build an efficient access route in southern Baden-Württemberg to the new Gotthard Base Tunnel.
The two identical tunnel boring machines, "Marion" (S-264) and "Inken" (S-265), began their pioneering work near the Swiss border in May and September 2005 respectively and began drilling their way northwards at a depth of up to 110 meters with only a few meters between them. In order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of the 63,000 segments required, a segment production plant has been built near the southern portal, where the special concrete will be cast in steel moulds. Only little more than two years later - in autumn 2007 - the two EPB Shields reach their targets one shortly after the other, the northern portal near Bad Bellingen. A crucial stage for the construction of the high speed line in the southern Rhine valley has been successfully completed.
The new Katzenberg Tunnel was opened for traffic on December 9, 2012.
The Katzenberg Tunnel (German)