Work begins on Falkenberg tunnel

Construction of one of the major new elements of the upgraded Main-Spessart Railway has begun in the state of Bavaria.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has launched the start of work on a new 2.6-kilometre tunnel on the Hanau-Aschaffenburg-Würzburg route which will replace the 160-year-old Schwarzkopf tunnel.

From 2015, rail traffic between Würzburg and Aschaffenburg will begin using the Falkenberg tunnel instead of the ageing Schwarzkopf tunnel. DB has said that despite repeated renovation works within the tunnel, maintenance costs remain high.

A total of four new tunnels will be constructed along the new alignment, which will be flatter than the current route and will allow the current maximum speed to be more than doubled from 70 km/h to 150 km/h.

The Falkenberg tunnel is expected to be completed by 2016.

Deutsche Bahn’s corporate representative for the state of Bavaria, Klaus-Dieter Josel, said a reduction in noise pollution from the new tunnels would also ‘provide relief’ to residents.