The most spectacular engineering project in Germany, however, which solves a spectacular problem, is Stuttgart 21. The mistake of engineers now costs billions instead of millions. The project started in 2010. It was supposed to be completed in 2019, but it is still not finished. Its initial approved value was 4.5 billion euros. Its value has already almost doubled. “This railway project has already exceeded the base plan by 4 billion euros and six years. It seems that what could have gone wrong here is there,” experts commented on Viasat Explore’s “Huge Engineering Mistakes” show. Stuttgart is at the heart of German production and the birthplace of one of the greatest inventions and engineering triumphs – the automobile. Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler worked there, they were committed to precision engineering. In 2010, the construction of a multibillion-dollar station began, which will develop the railway system in the city. At the heart of the project is the reconstruction of the city’s central station and the construction of 57 km of new railways with 32 km of tunnel sections and 25 km of high-speed lines. Stuttgart station needs to be replaced with a new 8-line underground station. Transport specialist Christian Butskar is working on this ambitious plan. “The idea was to make the main railway station in Stuttgart underground. This station is the final stop. The idea was to put everything in a tunnel. So there will be no need to stop, but it will go straight through the city. This will allow more “Fast switching and higher speed. That was the original idea,” he said. The grand plan to move the entire station underground includes almost 32 km of tunnels and turns the last station into one through which trains can pass freely. “The main goal was not related to the railway, but to the development of the city. Stuttgart is in a valley. It is a developing city. There is a lot of pressure on the real estate business. Implementing this project will free up a lot of space and the city would be happy more room for development, “explains Christian Butscar.
“With a more pleasant trip, with better stops, with properties on top. Who wouldn’t like it,” commented physicist Simon Foster, a physicist. “Everything sounds great on paper,” adds Corina Kuami, an engineer. But the conversion of Stuttgart’s main train station into an underground one created a problem almost immediately. From the very beginning, the engineers faced a big problem that existed before the idea of the project – the rocks under the city itself. “There are concerns that the tunnel will never work properly because there are unpredictable rocks around it.” An engineering company conducted an investigation on behalf of Deutsche Bahn (German railway operator) and said there was a huge risk of moving rocks around the site, “explains Butskar.” The geology around Stuttgart is not suitable for this type of construction. There’s something called anhydrite that expands when it gets wet. And that’s going to be a big problem, “added physicist Simon Foster. Millions of years ago, after the oceans shrank, the gypsum crystals that were on the seabed formed rock beds, and when the water evaporated, the rocks dried up. and the gypsum in them has become Anhydrite. “Anhydrite comes from the Greek word an hydros, which means” without water. ” Just like a sponge that absorbs water and enlarges. This is a problem if there are tunnels, “says scientist Haran Saivapalan. It turns out that Stuttgart is the last place to put underground rails. Stuttgart’s ambitious plan to move the central railway station underground has been frozen. there were already huge delays, the engineers had to be sure that everything would go on normally. But there were other problems. This was not the only tunnel project in the city. “Stuttgart already has a huge metro. That is why the construction of more tunnels is a logistical nightmare. They literally have to intertwine and the rails are on top of each other, “experts say.” What you see here is an esban (Stadbahn) – it’s a train going in that direction. On the other hand, there is another esban, and they want to add more rails on and under the existing ones, “says Werner Sawyerborn. This headache for the engineers made them challenge the design logic. To avoid the subway rails, they have to build platforms on a very steep slope. “Germany has several stops that have small slopes, and even at these stations there are sometimes accidents – with wheelchairs, and here there is a much bigger slope than at other stations in Germany,” says Sauerborn. “The number 21 in the name of the project is for the 21st century, but with the pace at which it is being built, we will be lucky if it is completed in the 22nd,” commented physicist Foster. “There was a huge public discussion about this project. We haven’t had such a heated debate about an infrastructure project in Germany for the last 50 years. It almost divided the city,” said Christian Butskar. Despite the billions spent on the project, many experts say Stuttgart 21 will actually worsen public transport in the area. The old station had 17 platforms, the new one will have only 8, Foster said. Passengers in Stuttgart still use the old station and are not convinced that the new one will change anything. “There is great mistrust as to whether the tunnel will have the same capacity as the current railway system. “There is a study that for about 19% of passengers passing through Stuttgart, the project will reduce their travel time, but for 13% it will extend it, and for the rest there will be no difference,” said Butskar. “Some think the station’s fire system has not been approved. And instead of solving this problem, just the fire system will be added later, “Corina Kuami told Viasat Explore. Problems with the construction mean that the official opening will be in 2025, but with the accumulating problems, some think that “Stuttgart 21” simply will not take place. “They are continuing with the project, but it is pointless. It already costs a lot of money. There is no fire protection system, there is a risk of anhydrite, there are platforms with huge slopes. If we take all this into account, this nonsense must stop,” said Werner Sawyerborn. On October 12 this year, the management of the Stuttgart 21 project cheerfully announced the following: “More than 50 kilometers of the Stuttgart 21 tunnel in the Stuttgart basin are almost complete – now the rails are coming. Today, almost five kilometers of rails were delivered to the Feuerbach tunnel.
Now the construction of the track begins there, ”says Olaf Drescher, CEO of DB Projekt Stuttgartt-Ulm GmbH. (Olaf Drescher, CEO of DB Projekt Stuttgartt-Ulm GmbH) “The Stuttgart 21 project is progressing! When the first rails arrive, the railroader’s heart beats faster. I would like to thank everyone who works with heart and hands on the project and manages the transition to mobility, “said Drescher. The 120-meter-long rails are manufactured at the Donawitz rolling mill in Austria, delivered by freight train at night and unloaded in the morning. Assembly in the tunnel will begin in November, DB Projekt Stuttgartt-Ulm GmbH said. The Stuttgart 21 project has been controversial among politicians and locals since the idea of a long-distance train station under the existing one was first proposed in the mid-1980s. Numerous protests have been organized against him so far, involving between 50,000 and 100,000 people. On 19 July 2007, the federal government, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced that the project had been approved. The identified sources of funding at the time were Deutsche Bahn (€ 1.115 million), the state of Baden-Württemberg (€ 685 million) and the federal government (€ 500 million). The agreement also provides for possible increases of more than approximately € 2.8 billion to € 1 billion, with Baden-Württemberg agreeing to fund up to € 780 million and DB agreeing to fund up to € 220 million. According to the statement, 2 billion euros will also be invested in rail transport, with a total budget of 4.8 billion euros. In 2017, Deutsche Welle published a publication on the mega-railway project. “The wealthy southern German city of Stuttgart has been struggling to upgrade its new railway system with a major project known as Stuttgart 21 (because it is expected to be ready in the 21st century) for more than two decades. When construction began in 2010, costs were set at 4.1 billion euros ($ 4.8 billion) – rising to 6.3 billion euros by the end of 2016. But last week, that figure was also thrown out of the sleeping car when a financial estimate by consulting firm PwC – leaked to Germany’s DPA – set the expected cost at 7.6 billion euros and shifted the completion date one year back to the end of 2024. . “, The media wrote then. “A look at the construction site of the main railway station and the overall plans clearly show what the ambitious plan of Stuttgart 21 is. Its core is the transformation of Stuttgart’s main railway terminal into an underground station, which will allow trains to pass. Among other things, this includes placing a seven-storey, 15,000-ton building on a completely new foundation, made of 40 ladders a few meters high – just for digging a tunnel, “Deutsche Welle writes, describing the task as” Herculean ” . In addition, Stuttgart 21 includes the creation of three new smaller city stations, as well as a new train line connecting Stuttgart’s main station with the airport and the city of Ulm, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) southeast. The project also requires the creation of 60 km of tunnels through the surrounding mountain region. “Stuttgart 21 was an absolutely dubious project from the start,” VCD railway services expert Philip Kosok said in a statement posted on the group’s website. “Very expensive and of little use. Now it turns out that the new structure is a bottomless barrel. “- writes in the same publication of Deutsche Welle. According to the latest information about the project, there will be open days at the construction site. They are planned from 6 to 8 January 2022- year between 10 and 16 hours.