DB Netz AG and LfULG sign letter of intent on Dresden–Prague new-build line

The Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) and DB Netz AG have agreed to continue their successful collaboration on the planning of the new Dresden–Prague line. On 21 September 2020, Norbert Eichkorn, President of the LfULG; Dr Marcus Schenkel, head of infrastructure projects for the Regional Unit Southeast at DB Netz AG; and Kay Müller, technical project manager for the Dresden–Prague new-build line, signed a declaration of intent.

The new Dresden–Prague line is an intergenerational project. Planning and construction will take decades. This makes it all the more important that the parties involved in the project work together well on a long-term basis and keep the data generated from the various planning phases in a digital format so it is secure and can be shared. Digital data, along with assisting each other in public relations work, was at the heart of the joint letter of intent signed between DB Netz AG and the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) at the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) in Dresden on 21 September 2020.

Years before DB Netz AG was tasked with planning the new Dresden–Prague line, the LfULG worked internationally with the Czech Geological Survey (ČGS) under the INTERREG programme to perform extensive geological investigations of the area around the potential tunnel through the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). Knowledge of the geology in this area is immensely important to planning the line, as underground geological conditions can affect the potential route and choice of tunnelling technology (more information can be found under Geology).

A wealth of data has already been generated from the investigations to date. Now, the aim is to secure this data for the future so that it can be integrated into building information modelling (BIM) for the project. The LfULG is working hard on the digitisation and visual presentation of this information and will steadily make it available to DB Netz AG. “I am proud that our digitisation strategy is working so well and delighted that we will all be able to benefit as a result. You have our support,” said LfULG president Norbert Eichkorn on the fruits of recent years’ work.

“With such a long-running project, we need to consolidate and secure the geoinformation data for years to come. That is why collaboration with the LfULG is so valuable to us,” said Dr Marcus Schenkel, head of infrastructure projects in Regional Unit Southeast, highlighting the benefits for DB Netz AG. Project manager Kay Müller concurred: “There will be more and more new information about the geology that we will not only need to access during planning but later on in the construction phase, too.”

During the signing, staff from the LfULG presented a folder containing the as yet unpublished papers it had produced on the “Geological surveys on the Dresden–Prague new-build line”. This combines all the surveys and findings of the last nine years in a single report and will be an important basis for planning further explorations. In a symbolic moment, the folder was handed over to Dr Marcus Schenkel and Kay Müller. The signing was also attended by Dr Frank Fischer, the LfULG’s head of geology, and Dr Jens Albrecht, head of mobility at the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport.

Information on the geology of the area is available at https://neubaustrecke-dresden-prag.de/en/geologie/