Novel design concept for railway bridges

Gänsebach Viaduct – the process, Buttstädt

Gänsebachtalbrücke © MarxKrontal
Gänsebachtalbrücke © Adam Hörnig Baugesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Vogelperspektive © Adam Hörnig Baugesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Gänsebachtalbrücke © Adam Hörnig Baugesellschaft mbH & Co. KG

The Gänsebach Viaduct is part of the newly constructed high-speed railway line from Erfurt to Leipzig/Halle and transverses the Gänsebach valley. The developer, Deutsche Bahn Netz AG, accepted a special proposal during the course of tendering. This was done at the suggestion of the Bridge Advisory Council of Deutsche Bahn AG, thus opening the opportunity to develop a novel design concept for viaducts. The resulting integral concept, used for railway bridges for the first time, departs from the conventional master planning and makes possible very slender structures that, at the same, require little maintenance. The outcome represents a new and economical type of construction that is not only superior to conventional structures, but simultaneously fits into the landscape with restraint and grace.

The viaduct, with its double-webbed prestressed concrete T-beams is divided into 10 jointless and bearingless multi-span girders. The horizontal cross bracing is achieved through restraints at the abutments and reinforced concrete frames at the column axes along the transitions between structural segments. The reduced structural height due to the minimal column spacing as well as the slender individual columns give the structure a lightweight and elegant appearance. It is distinguished by its robust and reduced structure and its low maintenance costs. The Gänsebach Viaduct prepares the way for additional new railway bridges built in this manner.

This project was presented as part of the 2014 Baukultur Workshops.

Completion 2012
Developer Deutsche Bahn Netz AG (Markus Schenkel)
Architect / planner

schlaich bergermann und partner (Jörg Schlaich, design and construction planning) 

Planning partners Schmitt Stumpf Frühauf und Partner – Ingenieure (Stefan Kraft); Deutsche Bahn Netz AG (Markus Schenkel); Adam Hörnig Baugesellschaft (Fritz Tiarks, building contractor)
Size / area Length: 1,001 m / segments: 52.5 m + 8 × 112 m + 52.5 m / typical span: approx. 24 m / superstructure height: 3.0 m / bridge width: 13.83 m / bridge surface: 13,850 m² / clear height: max. 20 m
Uses Infrastructure
Public construction
Planning culture
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