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Following the demolition of an elevated road: EQOS Energie participates in new construction of catenary line system in Ludwigshafen

In the urgently necessary Rhine-Neckar traffic infrastructure measures, the fitters from EQOS Energie are also involved: Currently they are reinstalling the catenary lines to ensure that local public transport can run smoothly again.

At regular intervals, the elevated road known as “Hochstrasse Süd” in Ludwigshafen, Germany, was examined for its condition and safe statics. The last test brought a terrifying result: The road had developed cracks that were increasing in size. After several expert reports, it was clear that the crumbling road was no longer safe for motorists and had to be demolished. In December 2019, Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv) was commissioned to dismantle the catenary line system that ran below “Hochstrasse Süd”. This process affected the catenary lines in the areas around Berliner Platz/Mundenheimer Strasse and Berliner Strasse/Paul-Kleefoot-Platz. The commission for the catenary line work went to the Catenary Line in Public Transport Germany profit center within the Railway Technology business unit of EQOS Energie.

As a result of the demolition of “Hochstrasse Süd”, the support points for the catenary line system, which were originally mounted on the structure, were missing. They have now been replaced by new masts with corresponding foundations. A total of nine new parallel wide-flanged beams were installed. Due to the high groundwater levels, rnv opted for block foundations. After the demolition of Pilzhochstrasse is completed, the catenary line sections in Berliner Strasse, in the direction of Paul-Kleefoot-Platz, will be constructed. In this area, four new foundations with masts will be prepared. Subsequently, catenary wires will be installed across the entire Berliner Strasse.

Construction of rigging and installation of catenary wires

Initially, the entire elevated road was cleared and demolished in a first construction project and subsequently the foundations were deployed. Currently, the catenary line masts, so-called HEM supports, are inserted into the foundations. At the moment, the EQOS Energie experts are building the rigging and are installing the catenary wires. “We know how important it is for our customer that the line can be opened again quickly for passengers, and we are very well on schedule,” said Dominik Pickel, business manager of the Catenary Line in Public Transport Germany profit center at EQOS Energie. In the course of this project, rnv will also repair the tracks, which would have required an overhaul anyway. In ongoing operations, the repair work could have only been performed at night. However, since the route is currently closed due to the construction project, the work can be performed during the day. The partial project will run from June to September 2020. Upon completion, EQOS Energie will conclude the electrical inspection of the catenary line system before the interrupted rail traffic can be resumed on 14 September 2020. The second construction lot at Berliner Strasse will probably start in October/November 2020, after the demolition of Pilzhochstrasse and the clearing of the construction area, which should take no longer than five weeks.

Photo: Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH