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 Data at hand
Karlsruhe-Basel project director Philipp Langefeld and BIM specialist Katarina Roth at the touchscreen planning table.
  The high-speed railway
that connects Karlsruhe in southern Germany with Basel just over the Swiss border is 182 kilometers long. The new rails run parallel to an existing line in most places. The idea
is to separate passenger from freight transport and thereby considerably increase capacity. The trip will then take only around seventy instead of one hundred minutes. Construction on the new segments began in 1987. The forty-four-kilometer stretch from Raststatt-Süd
to Offenburg has been in operation since late 2004.
The 9.4-kilometer Katzenberg tunnel between Schliengen/ Auggen and Eimeldingen opened eight years later. Scheduled for completion
in 2042, the project is expected to cost a total of €11.6 billion.
New rail section
Rhine Valley railway
Kenzingen Riegel
Müllheim Auggen
Basel Bad station
superimposed if desired. They can examine a new stopping point on the platform at a scale of 1:1, or walk through the underpass. They can also “place themselves” between the platforms, where they can inspect the innovative noise reduc- tion structures that extend above the platforms and there- by absorb sound waves that would otherwise go up over the vertical walls toward nearby residences. Known as galleries, they are being used for the first time on the new line in the Rhine Valley, explains Langefeld. “It gives you an idea already of what the noise reduction systems—which are stricter than regulations require—will look like.”
DB Netz’s aim is to use the 3-D object planning system to detect problems earlier and thereby minimize defects and delays. Project management is also professionalized by link- ing planning with scheduling and funding. Over the long term, the aims are to adapt current planning to further reduce the time required, and to use planning data for “BIM in operation.”
When combined with artificial intelligence, the data will one day streamline both the operations and maintenance of infrastructure facilities. Inspectors will be able to moni- tor tunnels and bridges by photographing and documenting damaged areas on tablets. The data will automatically prompt a repair proposal that includes a timeline and costs. For fu- ture developments of this type, it is important to exchange information with other pilot projects and companies. But that requires appropriate standards, especially at interfaces. As Europe’s largest investor in infrastructure, Deutsche Bahn “is a driving force behind innovation and is viewed positively in the industry,” says Langefeld.
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