CZ/SK verze

GREAT NEWS: Deutsche Bahn is to complete a special inspection of concrete sleepers by the end of the month

GREAT NEWS: Deutsche Bahn is to complete a special inspection of concrete sleepers by the end of the month
photo: Archive/GREAT NEWS: Deutsche Bahn is to complete a special inspection of concrete sleepers by the end of the month
23 / 08 / 2022

Deutsche Bahn's (DB) extensive inspection programme for concrete sleepers in the rail network is nearing completion. Since July, DB experts have been inspecting around 200,000 sleepers of a specific type and manufacturer throughout Germany.

The inspections will be completed by the end of August. The work is being carried out as a precautionary measure, as sleepers of a specific construction type are also being inspected by the investigating authorities in connection with the accident near Garmisch-Partenkirchen on June, 3. Even though the investigations have not yet been completed and the cause of the accident has not yet been determined, DB has decided to investigate sleepers of the same construction on the network as a precautionary measure. Initial preliminary findings from technical reports by independent testing institutes now suggest there is a manufacturer's fault. Some of the sleepers show irregularities in the material composition.

Wherever the experts have discovered anomalies, DB has reacted immediately. In most cases, wherever necessary, trains travel more slowly over the affected sleepers. In isolated cases, DB also had to close sections of the track. Unfortunately, passengers and freight transport customers feel the effects: diversions, longer journey times, or even rail replacement services cannot be avoided due to the work.

As a result of the investigations, there are currently restrictions at a total of around 165 locations in the rail network. The states of Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are mainly affected. DB is working intensively to eliminate disruptions for passengers and freight transport customers as quickly as possible. The company has already been able to replace the sleepers on the first lines, and concrete construction dates have already been scheduled for around 90 per cent of the affected sections. The prioritisation of the work and replacement concepts are being closely coordinated with the railway undertakings and federal states affected.

The goal is to have almost all affected lines running again by the end of the year. However, it is also clear that some of the sleeper replacement work will continue into the coming year. A DB task force is coordinating the currently scarce construction resources so that they can be used as effectively as possible. Priority is given first to the lines that are particularly heavily used and are of great importance for stable long-distance, regional and freight traffic throughout the network. The necessary materials are available: Even in times of material shortages, DB has managed to secure sufficient new sleepers on the market.

It is not yet possible to put a concrete figure on the damage caused. DB assumes an amount in the three-digit millions. Possible claims for recourse against the sleeper manufacturer will be legally examined based on the final expert reports.

Source: Deutsche Bahn