Stuttgart 21 XIX: Tunnel Lining I at Tunnel Construction at Ulmer Straße
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. One of the construction sites was at Ulmer Straße just outside of the city centre. There the tunnel is expanded by blasting. Whenever a new part of the tunnel has been blasted and cleared it is lined with layers of shotcrete and steel grids. In this recording workers attach steel grids to a layer of shotcrete. You can hear the two-armed GA Normlifter which carries the workers as they attach the steel grids by hand. One of them uses a grinding machine to cut the grids into the right shape. In the background dripping groundwater can be heard.
Sound: Kathinka Engels
Photo and Video: Konrad Gutkowski