The Gänsebach Valley Bridge, an Integral Valley Bridge owned by the DB AG on the New Railway Erfurt-Leipzig/Halle

The new railway between Erfurt and Leipzig/Halle, part of the transportation project “Deutsche Einheit No. 8.2”, crosses the Gänsebach valley via an intregal (i.e. no bearings) prestressed concrete bridge. The bridge is designed for high-speed traffic of up to 300 km/h. The bridge, currently under construction, is based on an alternative design in accordance with the guideline “Design of Railway Bridges” (“Leitfaden: Gestalten von Eisenbahnbrücken”) of the Deutsche Bahn AG. The Gänsebach valley bridge is designed as a frame bridge, a monolithical prestressed concrete double T-beam on circular columns. The example of the Gänsebach valley bridge proved that alternative designs following the DB AG guideline are to be regarded as at least equivalent with regard to load bearing capacity, serviceability and traffic safety as well as cost and therefore suitable for high-speed traffic. The deviation from the original plan and the integral design required a separate approval and consequently various further tests, such as examining the dynamic behavior under train crossings and possible resonance vibrations. These tests will be described in detail in this paper. This alternative design will result in a bridge which is more robust and will fit in more harmoniously with the shallow valley of the Gänsebach than the original commissioned design would have.


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