GERMANY: A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Niederbühl on July 30 to launch a €693m project to build a new double-track alignment through Rastatt. This forms part of a programme to provide four tracks in place of two to increase capacity on the Rhine Valley corridor between Karlsruhe and Basel.

The federally-funded project includes the construction of 17 km of new double-track alignment suitable for 250 km/h running. This largely parallels the B36 road, with a 4 270 m tunnel under the town of Rastatt. The railway will pass beneath the A5 motorway in a 675 m long, 13 m wide and 4 m deep concrete trough which is being built at a cost of €9m to protect the line against groundwater incursion.

Around €28m has been allocated for noise reduction measures along the route. Completion is planned for 2022.