INTRO: German Railway has handed management of the construction programme for the first section of the 88 km Nürnberg - Ingolstadt high speed line to civil engineering specialists Leonhard Weiss. Murray Hughes reports from Nürnberg

TUCKED away in the southeast suburbs of Nürnberg is a busy railway construction site. Managed from a village of canary yellow containers stacked outside Fischbach S-Bahn station, it is the focus of unprecedented attention. Not because of any unusual engineering, but because this is among the first new line worksites in Germany where DB has appointed a prime contractor to handle the construction programme.

Stretching for 11 km from the inner suburbs through Fischbach to Feucht, the site runs for 8·8 km parallel to the existing Nürnberg - Regensburg main line. The final 2·2 km is a brand new alignment forming the first section of German Railway’s Nürnberg - Ingolstadt high speed line.

Leonhard Weiss GmbH & Co was appointed prime contractor in April 1997, and work got under way the following month. Project Manager Dipl-Ing Jürgen Rieger, who is Leonhard Weiss’s technical manager for railway contracts, says the job will be complete by 2000.

The decision to hand construction management to a contractor is part of DB’s transition from a state railway towards a privately-run network. The contract was awarded by DB subsidiary Planungsgesellschaft Bahnbau Deutsche Einheit mbH. Contracts for the rest of the line to Ingolstadt were announced on September 3 (p670). In the words of PBDE’s Project Manager Dipl-Ing Heinz-Dietrich K