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Millions needed to fix five-year-old rail bridge

The Local · 19 Jan 2012, 12:19

Published: 19 Jan 2012 12:19 GMT+01:00

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The track – and particularly the base on which it is fixed – should have been custom made along the curved bridge which leads to the station, the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel reported on Thursday.

But there was not enough time to do this if the Hauptbahnhof was to be ready for the World Cup, and Deutsche Bahn, which was building the station, got permission from the authorities to skip the procedure. Only those parts of the track which are pretty much straight were mounted on the supporting bases, the paper said.

Now it appears that a number of screws securing the track have worked loose, and some have even broken off. Deutsche Bahn said it was not clear why this happened, but it could not rule out that mistakes were made due to time pressure, the paper reported.

Trains travelling over the bridge are already limited to 40 kilometres an hour in an attempt to minimise further damage to the track fixings.

Work began to replace the damaged fixings in September – with around 1,950 of the 3,250 replaced so far, the paper said.

But the connecting sections also need to be replaced with parts specially designed for curves, and this will take several years, Deutsche Bahn said.

Of the 50 connecting sections, 38 will have to be replaced, with each costing around €100,000. The work to do this will entail removing some track which is embedded in concrete, which will make the process particularly expensive, the paper reported.

It also said that the welding work which will be necessary will force the development of a new fire alarm system for the station itself – otherwise the work will set off the alarms. Roads will also have to be closed during the work, and rail transport will be disrupted. The Tagesspiegel said experts predicted the total costs would exceed €10 million.

Several tracks will have to be closed at the same time – something Deutsche Bahn wanted to avoid during initial construction of the station so much that the signature curved glass roof was not built to its intended length. The paper said the unused parts of the roof had been built and paid for – and are being stored at another station.

Story continues below…

Repair work is due on the roof which has become a playground for crows which enjoy pulling the rubber sealant out from between the panes of glass.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:48 January 19, 2012 by nemo999
I am just shocked that some one in Germany of all places would rush a project to support a sporting event. This is just unbelievable. I do not know what I can believe, next you will be telling me that a German Bank is appealing for calm after Dirk Nowitzki ate a small slice of meat in a commerical.
19:56 January 19, 2012 by raandy
I sugest getting on this before some catastrophe happens .
01:02 January 20, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Hauptbahnhof has been a total disaster since before it was opened. Already a steel girder fell out, now this. All because of shoddy workmanship and privatization. Berlin never needed it, the existing stations worked fine. All other Fernbahnhoefe (mainline stations) had U-Bahn connections to them. Hauptbahnhof doesn't (sorry U55 doesn't count). It was opened in a hurry for the stupid World Cup 2006 instead of them taking time to get it right. Now they're paying for it. No wonder they're protesting Stuttgart 21.

DB are a big effin disaster, what with the damage they've done to the S-Bahn. Bahnhof Zoo was a fine station. Good job killing off that piece of Berlin tradition.

Next up, Berlin Brandenburg International airport, coming summer 2011. I wonder what a disaster that will be. Tegel worked just fine and that will be closed now.
09:07 January 20, 2012 by DoubleDTown
At least it's cheaper than DB's EUR 100 million roof in Dresden that didn't last two winters.
11:09 January 20, 2012 by Wrench
Christ!!! Hasn't Berlin sucked enough money from the German people?
11:34 January 20, 2012 by nemo999
Stuttgart 21 ?
13:42 January 20, 2012 by William Thirteen
a good reason for disembarking at Hauptbahnhof ... before the sh*t falls into the water on the way to Friedrichstrasse...
18:50 January 20, 2012 by claudhopper
I was born and reared in Ireland,we were led to believe the Germans were the best in the world in all areas of engineering and construction.I have been in construction myself for the past twenty years,the last eight years I have been in Germany renovating properties that I have bought here.I have never in all my life had to deal with so many gunterers,meaning botch it and leggit so called meisters,everybody it seems is a meister,plumbers,electricians and carpenters I have dealt with them all.They all did work that could only be described as laughable if the subject and costs were not so serious.The problem in Germany is if you dont pay up for the shoddy work they take you to court.
13:44 January 25, 2012 by mshameemahmed
According to my experience German Engineering is too good and they invest more time on research and comes out with very good product, that's reason, why you have to pay more.

Does the above comment(#8) mean, In Ireland you make them work and do'nt pay enough?
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