SPITZKE in Munich’s underground

Track-laying work at a depth of 19 m and in a very confined space: The Southern Germany Centre of Excellence is renewing the U3 line of the Bavarian state capital on behalf of Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG). 

Since mid-November, road-rail excavators instead of trains have been running in the tunnel tubes between Münchener Freiheit and Scheidplatz railway stations. After the old tracks and concrete sleepers have been dismantled, they remove the old ballast, more than 4,000 t, in both travel directions. This involves a major logistical challenge. This is because there is only one access to the construction site—a shaft only 4x5 m wide near Scheidplatz, through which a cable excavator lifts the ballast to the surface. As there is no space to turn in Munich’s underground railway, the construction sequence also had to be planned and coordinated very precisely. One excavator pushes the ballast into the bucket of the other, this second excavator then reverses carefully to the unloading area —work in tandem that runs like clockwork. As of January, 4,000 t ballast, 10,000 m² mats under the ballast (to reduce noise) and new timber sleepers will be installed, and new tracks laid. During the entire construction period an enormous dust extractor ensures fresh air is available in the tunnel tubes. Otherwise the dust produced during more than 40 years of underground railway operations would make the work impossible.

The U3 is one of the oldest underground railway lines in Munich. It was opened in 1972 for the summer Olympics and has never been modernised. As the U3 is also one of the most used lines, public media were very interested in this project. Not only five newspapers reported on it (including the SZ and Münchener Merkur), but two TV stations were also on-site with their camera teams. The trains will once again be able to use this section from 1 April.


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Corporate Communications and Marketing 
Kristin Gebhardt

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