Frankfurt am Main main station is being expanded to include an underground station. Deutsche Bahn is now starting its planning, as a study has confirmed the feasibility. The construction period following the planning is to take ten years, the building is expected to cost 3.6 billion euros.
Via a long-distance railway tunnel, 250 more trains than the previous 1250 trains should be able to reach the main station every day. At the same time, the previously heavily frequented above-ground terminus will be relieved, announced the Deutsche Bahn (PDF). Most long-distance trains will in future travel to the main station 35 meters underground via a through connection and stop at the new main station.
DB Infrastructure Board Member Ronald Pofalla sees the main line tunnel as another important element for the Germany cycle, which should connect the German metropolises every 30 minutes. The Deutschlandtakt entered the political discussion in October 2018.
Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, described the Frankfurt Central Station as a “chronic bottleneck” that is now being expanded into a “pulsating hub in the European cycle”. Many TEE 2.0 trains would run through the mainline tunnel from Berlin to Barcelona or from Prague to Paris.
The federal government commissioned the 2019 feasibility study. The south corridor selected for the project leads underground past the Frankfurt skyscrapers to the main train station. The future tunnel can be connected twice to existing railway lines. The trains can then use the north and south Main routes. The new underground station is to be built under the southern part of the main train station.
For the study, two further possible routes of the mainline tunnel were examined, one in the north and one in the middle. The middle corridor runs under the high-rise buildings, whose foundations, which are up to 50 meters deep, made a tunnel technically difficult. The northern corridor also encounters numerous structural obstacles.
Klaus Gietinger from the citizens’ initiative “Frankfurt 22“believes that the tunnel construction lobby alone will benefit from the project. The tunnel will be finished in 2040 at the earliest and at 10 km will be significantly longer than the previously estimated 6.5 km.” Who should be able to cope with this grandiose traffic jam when the ‘solution’ is only ready ten years later? “asks spokesman Hans-Jürgen Hammelmann from Frankfurt 22
The citizens’ initiative prefers the four-track expansion of the Frankfurt Süd – Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof line, as planned in 2003 by the city, state and railways. At that time, six years of planning and construction and costs of 70 million euros were assumed. “That is currently the solution and not a polluting, highly dangerous fine dust and hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 producing tunnel, “says Gietinger.