Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed railway

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Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed railway
Neubaustrecke Wendlingen Ulm.svg
Overview of the planned high-speed line
Native name Neubaustrecke Wendlingen–Ulm
Locale Baden-Württemberg
Line number 4813
Line length 59.575 km (37.018 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Minimum radius 2,305 m (7,562 ft)
Electrification 15 kV/16.7 Hz AC overhead catenary
Operating speed 250 km/h (155.3 mph) (maximum)
Maximum incline 0.35%
Route map
 Operating points and lines[2] 
Stuttgart–Wendlingen high-speed railway
Neckar-Alb Railway
Wendlingen am Neckar
Teck Railway
Neckar-Alb Railway
Beginning of Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed line
Neckartal junction Little Wendlingen Curve
to Neckar-Alb Railway
Freight connection to Neckar-Alb Railway
Albvorland Tunnel(8176 m)
Teck Railway
Weilheim Tunnel(225 m)
Boßler Tunnel(8806 m)
Fils Viaduct(ca. 485 m)
Steinbühl Tunnel(ca. 4847 m)
Autobahn Tunnel(378 m)
Widderstall Tunnel(963 m)
AS Merklingen Tunnel(424 m)
Imberg Tunnel(499 m)
Albabstiegs Tunnel(5940 m)
Fils Valley Railway–Ulm Rbf connecting line
End of the high-speed railway
Fils Valley Railway
Brenz Railway from Aalen
Danube Valley Railway from Tuttlingen
82.4[1] Ulm Hbf
Southern Railway
85.0 Danube, Bavaria/BW state border
Neu-Ulm West cut and cover (250 m)
83.8 Neu-Ulm
Neu-Ulm Ost cut and cover (200 m)
Iller Valley Railway to Memmingen
Continuing as Ulm–Augsburg railway

Wendlingen-Ulm high-speed line is a proposed high-speed railway line crossing the Swabian Alb with speeds of up to 250  km/h and will run in many sections parallel to the A 8. In the east the line will connect with the Neu-Ulm station opened on 18 March 2007, in the west to the Stuttgart 21 project.

As a section of the Stuttgart–Augsburg new and upgraded line, the Wendlingen-Ulm project is also a component of the Magistrale for Europe from Paris to Budapest, which is supported by the European Union as part of its Trans-European Networks. The European Union is providing up to 50 per cent of the planning phase of the project and is expected to fund ten per cent of its construction costs.


Once opened, the travel time for high-speed traffic between Stuttgart and Ulm will be only 28 minutes rather than the current 54 minutes, if a stop at Stuttgart Airport is omitted. This is part of Deutsche Bahn's Netz 21 (network 21) concept, which envisages a reduction of the travel time between Frankfurt and Munich from over three and a half today to two and a half hours in the future. However, this timing can only be achieved with a by-pass of Mannheim on the proposed Rhine/Main–Rhine/Neckar high-speed rail line, which would allow the travel time between Frankfurt and Stuttgart to be reduced to one hour. Deutsche Bahn has shelved the proposed bypass because of opposition to it in Mannheim.

27.1 km of the 58 km new line run in seven twin-tube tunnels. The estimated construction cost of 2 billion, is affected by the difficult geology that the tunnels will run through.[3]


A key point of criticism is the 15-km-long steep ramp on which the line climbs the Swabian Alps at gradients between 17 and 31 per mille.

The project is divided into seven planning sections:

  • Section 2.1 a/b connects Wendlingen with section 1.4 of the Stuttgart 21 project.
  • Section 2.1 c (Albvorland: Alb foothills) runs parallel with the A8, including the 8.3 km-long Albvorland tunnel.
  • Section 2.2 (Albaufstieg: Alb ascent) consists mainly of the approximately 8.8 km for the Bossler tunnel, two approximately 480  m-long bridges over the Fils valley and the approximately 4.8 km-long Steinbühl tunnel.
  • Section 2.3 (Albhochfläche: Alb highlands) runs above ground and parallel to the A8.
  • Section 2.4 (Albabstieg: Alb descent) runs through a tunnel into the city of Ulm.
  • The integration of the line with Ulm station is carried out in Section 2.5 a1.
  • Finally Section 2.5 a2 (Danube bridge) connects to the Neu-Ulm 21 project.

Construction timetable[edit]

In May 2005 it was decided to commence construction. Under the plans of DB ProjektBau (Deutsche Bahn’s construction subsidiary), if construction had commenced in autumn 2005, it would have been ready to open in 2013. However, as a result of Federal Budget cuts commencement of construction has been delayed. On July 19, 2007, it was announced by the Federal Government, the State of Baden-Württemberg and DB that the project had been officially approved. € 2.0 billion will be invested in the Wendlingen-Ulm high-speed line, along with € 2.8 billion in Stuttgart 21. Baden-Württemberg agreed to provide funds of € 950 million for the Wendlingen-Ulm line, but the Federal Government will not provide funding for it before 2016.[4][5][6] Preparatory construction work for the new line began in the autumn of 2010.[7] The ground-breaking ceremony was held on 7 May 7 2012.[8] Work has commenced on most sections. All structures on the line will be completed by 2018.[9] The line, together with Stuttgart 21, is expected to open in December 2021.


  1. ^ a b SMA und Partner AG (4 June 2008). "Aktennotiz: Neubauprojekt Stuttgart - Ulm" (PDF, 14 pages, 7.1 MB) (in German). Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0. 
  3. ^ 27 Kilometer Tunnel durch schwieriges Gestein, Stuttgarter Nachrichten of 4 October 2006 (in German)
  4. ^ "Einigung auf Finanzierung von Stuttgart 21" (in German). SWR3 Radio news. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Finanzierung für Stuttgart 21 steht" (in German). Spiegel online. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  6. ^ "Tiefensee: Durchbruch für die Neubaustrecke Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg und "Stuttgart 21"" (Press release) (in German). Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  7. ^ Udo Andriof (12 November 2010). "Construction new line". direktzu Stuttgart 21. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Bahn beginnt mit den Bauarbeiten". Stuttgarter Zeitung. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  9. ^ ""Glück auf" unter der Alb". Südwest Presse (in German). 2 December 2013. p. 12.