News | 12/08/2022 Faster rail travel: Liebherr cranes help build the Filstal Bridge

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is set to open the new Wendlingen-Ulm line, and with it the Filstal Bridge near Mühlhausen im Täle, as changes to the rail timetable take effect on 11 December 2022. Four reliable Liebherr high-top cranes have been involved in the construction of Germany's third-highest railway bridge: a 280 EC-H 12 Litronic, two 280 EC-H 16 Litronic and a 630 EC-H 40 Litronic. The bridge stretches approx. 500 metres across the Fils Valley, is 85 metres in height and shortens travel times between Ulm and Stuttgart.

The Liebherr tower cranes were dismantled by mobile cranes over the course of this year as they completed their work.

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The structure consists of two parallel-running, prestressed concrete bridges. The cranes were positioned between these bridges.

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The Filstal Bridge consists of two parallel, single-track, prestressed concrete bridges and ten piers. A total of around 55,000 cubic metres of concrete and 7,700 tonnes of steel have been used for this project. The EC-H cranes from construction company Max Bögl assisted with various lifting operations, which included transporting concrete buckets, erecting supporting props and positioning formwork elements.

The operating range limiting system ABB proved to be particularly helpful during the work. The intelligent assistance system ensured that the cranes didn’t slew over specified track sections and overhead lines. Test runs were therefore able to start on the completed side of the structure while construction work was still underway on the parallel-running bridge.

Coordinated crane positions

The Liebherr cranes worked freestanding on site with radii ranging between 49 and 75 metres and hook heights between 76 and 96 metres. Undercarriages with a ten-metre track gauge and a tower combination using 500 HC, 24 HC 630 and 256 HC tower systems made these remarkable freestanding hook heights possible. Thanks to the different radii and hook heights, the cranes were easily able to rotate alongside or over each other.

Mobile cranes with high hook heights were used to dismantle the tower cranes one by one over the course of this year. As was the case during assembly, tight conditions posed a challenge. To make dismantling easier, the 630 EC-H 40 was climbed down from 76 metres to around 26 metres and then dismantled. All other cranes were dismantled without climbing.

Travelling at up to 250 km/h

The Filstal Bridge is one of several structures for the new railway line running through southern Germany. Regional and long-distance trains will run on the new line between Ulm and Wendlingen, travelling at a speed of up to 250 km/h. The journey time between Ulm and Stuttgart will be reduced by 15 minutes. When Stuttgart’s new main station S21 opens at a later date, the resulting time saving is expected to be as much as 30 minutes.

Reliable partner for heavy lifting

Apart from bridge constructions like this one in southern Germany, Liebherr's high-top cranes are also used for the construction of power stations, plants and larger buildings. The EC-H series is the perfect partner for when high lifting capacities are involved. High-performance drives from Liebherr's own production ensure excellent handling performance and assistance systems such as the Micromove fine positioning mode ensure that loads are set down with precision. This year has seen Liebherr extend the EC-H series upwards with its 1188 EC-H 40 Fibre crane. The 1188 EC-H 40 Fibre is also the first high-top crane to feature fibre rope.