Stuttgart 21 XIV: Soundwalk within Tunnel Boring Maschine
Stuttgart 21 is one of the biggest construction projects in Germany. It includes the underground construction of a new central station for the city of Stuttgart as well as the creation of a new network of tracks and tunnels that allows high speed trains to pass in the area, possibly reduces travelling times and connects Stuttgart to international transport networks. It is conducted by Deutsche Bahn and co-financed by public money.
However, despite enthusiasm from its founders and the industry, the project has been heavily criticised. Not only has it become much more expensive than expected, but there are also doubts about the efficiency and safety of the new central station as well as about the actual benefit of the high speed tracks. Moreover, the construction fuelled protests and many discussions on protected buildings and nature reserves within the city such as historic parks.
Large parts of the train tracks arriving at the new station will run through underground tunnels. The Fildertunnel is one of them. It is bored into the stone with a large tunnel boring machine, the Herrenknecht-Tunnel-Boring-Machine S-738. This soundwalk recording was made while walking through the working area behind the boring machine. Unfortunately, on the day of the recording the boring machine had some technical issues and did not work. However, during the soundwalk you can hear the background sounds of the large borer such as fans, various sorts of pumps, a circulating pump for the groundwater in particular, workers bustling in the background and tools running with compressed air. The mumbling voices of the visitor group that the recording team joined are audible, too.
Sound: Kathinka Engels
Photo: Konrad Gutkowski