The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)

The largest rail construction site in Germany

  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    General view VDE 8
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    Burgberg Tunnel
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    Regnitz Viaduct
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Eierberge Tunnel
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Füllbach Viaduct with Höhnberg Tunnel North and Füllbach Tunnel North
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    Froschgrundsee Viaduct
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Grümpen Viaduct
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Bleßberg Tunnel
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Silberberg Tunnel
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    Erfurt main station and Bahnhofstraße railway bridge
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Finne Tunnel
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    The Unstrut Viaduct
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
  • The German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8)
    Halle (Saale) main station, construction works view from the east

High-speed trains can soon travel on the new line – at up to 300 km/h. Passengers can travel between Berlin and Munich in record times, from city to city. Trains will become a real alternative to travelling by car or plane.
By 2017, most of the work on the longest construction site in Germany, German Unity Transport Project 8 (VDE 8), will be completed. The double-track upgraded and new lines Nuremberg–Erfurt–Leipzig/Halle–Berlin will start operating. The ten-billion euro project was approved by the German Federal Government in 1991 to improve the transport connection between East and West and between North and South. It will also close the gaps in the German high-speed rail network. Freight trains will also travel on the route. The line will open many opportunities for implementing state-of-the-art transport concepts – the beginning of a new era of rail travel.

The new line enables faster journey times and excellent connections between cities. And much more. The Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig junctions are the central interchange stations to the region.
Example scenario for Erfurt: The express trains arrive hourly in a time frame of approximately 10 minutes. Passengers can change trains between the fast lines – for example, leave the Dresden–Frankfurt express train and board the Berlin–Munich train. Or they can continue travelling to the region. For only a few minutes after the express trains have departed, trains to the surrounding region start their journey. The best possible options to change between fast and regional trains bring a new quality to travelling. The junctions are being completely modernised. Outdated track systems in Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig, some of which have been operating since the beginning of the 20th century, are being upgraded: this will ensure that trains reach stations quickly, take away any journey time saved and pass this on to the regional transport. Around a billion euros is being invested in railway stations, platforms, tracks and technology at the three junctions: to establish the most modern railway infrastructure that has ever existed and achieve new mobility in long-distance and regional transport.

The new high-speed route also has a European dimension: the line between Nuremberg and Berlin is an important section of the high-speed trans-European network (TEN). Project 1 runs from Sicily to Scandinavia – from Palermo via Berlin to Stockholm. Now that the Nuremberg–Berlin gap is closed, it will in future be possible to travel beyond national borders from southern to northern Europe without switching locomotives, making a stop or changing the train control system.
Non-stop journeys and safety are the most important premises for the European rail services of tomorrow. Interoperability is the technical term. It starts with the height of the platform edges and ends with the train control system. On the Nuremberg–Berlin line, all of the required European standards have been realised – right through to disabled access to platforms. This is a significant step towards “a railway with no boundaries”.

Facts and figures

  • 4 hours journey time between Munich and Berlin
  • 27 Tunnel constructions
  • 37 viaducts
  • 230 kilometres of newly built track
  • 10 billion investment costs
  • 3 months annually scheduled construction stop in the Saale-Elster-Aue due to bird breeding
  • 8,314 metres: longest tunnel, Bleßberg tunnel
  • 8,600 metres: longest railway bridge in D, Saale-Elster valley bridge
  • 270 kilometres of upgraded track (including junctions)
  • 2017 Commissioning of the overall connection
  • 770,000 Plans and documents
  • 63,810 metres Total length of the tunnels
  • 3 Bridge construction prizes
  • 3,500 years old: trade route along the route (excavated)
  • 300 km/h top speed
  • 4,500 employees working on the construction of the train path/equal number in the supplier company
  • 12.6 million cubic metres excavated in the tunnels
  • 134 kilometres of new traction current line
  • 800 contracts; 300 planning rights proceedings
  • 100,000 visitors in the information centres
  • 3,000 hectares of compensation area for environmental measures
  • 4,000,000 tonnes of concrete laid along the route
  • 12,5   ‰ vertical meters on 1.000 meters - steepest gradient of the route
  • 17 Electronic signal boxes


More Information: DB Netz AG


Alexander Strutzke
Alexander Strutzke
Dipl.-Betriebswirt (FH)
Sales and Marketing Manager
phone: +49 (931) 35503-550

Successful project collaboration with EPLASS:

Since EPLASS is already being successfully used for all the single projects of the German Unity Project No.8, it will also be used for the project organization of this subproject.

To facilitate the complex construction management in a central system, the project participants decided to work with the internet based project collaboration platform EPLASS. All processes are easily accessible for all project participants at any time and any place. Everything from the correspondence, to the construction reports, structural analysis, check reports and claims are organized, reviewed and archived within EPLASS. The project participants consists of the above named joint venture, the German Railway (DB AG), external designers, checking engineers, geotechnical engineers and the building inspection. The federal railway authority is also involved in this project.