Modernisation in record time - pilot project on the Riedbahn line

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Stefan Wildhirt
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Stefan Wildhirt

Every day, around 300 passenger and freight trains travel the 117 kilometres between Frankfurt am Main and Mannheim. But the Riedbahn, which was built in the mid-19th century, is now in need of a comprehensive general overhaul. Drees & Sommer is tackling this task together with Deutsche Bahn. The special thing about this is that it is a pilot project. Instead of carrying out the refurbishment in several stages, as has been usual in the past, we will overhaul the line in a record time of five months, including acceptance, with full track possession: 117 kilometres of track, 152 switches, 140 kilometres of overhead lines and 20 stations.

A mammoth task for everyone involved, but one with huge benefits. If the busy line were to be rehabilitated in stages, around 16 partial closures would be necessary by 2030, resulting in lengthy restrictions on rail traffic, delays and years of noise pollution for local residents.

However, in order for the general refurbishment to be completed in record time, we are relying on lean or construction management. This allows problems to be identified and rectified at an early stage. At the same time, it facilitates communication and the involvement of all those involved - from the client to the project managers to the construction workers on site - because short-term changes and challenges need to be discussed as quickly as possible and work steps need to be optimally coordinated.

Our project manager, Annette Beierl, recently wrote a guest article for Bahn Manager. You can read the full article here.