Drilling for the new Dresden–Prague railway line

Deutsche Bahn drills boreholes between Elbe Valley and Ore Mountains • Experts want to find out more about geological conditions • Basis for detailed planning of the new railway line and Erzgebirge Tunnel

(Dresden, 2 September 2020) Geologists are drilling up to 400 metres into the earth between Elbe Valley and Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) to investigate subsurface conditions for the new railway line from Dresden to Prague. Deutsche Bahn is drilling at nine locations in Heidenau-Grosssedlitz, Bahretal (Niederseidewitz, Borna, Gersdorf) and Bad Gottleuba-Berggiesshübel (Börnersdorf, Breitenau). The work will continue until May 2021.

Project manager Kay Müller: “We are now beginning detailed planning for the new line to Prague. That means we want to find out more about what awaits us in the Ore Mountains, where the rock is up to 800 million years old. Geology is one of the criteria that will ultimately determine the exact route of the new railway line.”

Geological surveys have been underway since June. The rail company initially drilled around the industrial estate in Heidenau and along the existing railway line in the Elbe Valley between Dresden-Zschachwitz and Heidenau-Grosssedlitz. Now, boreholes are being created in the eastern Ore Mountains.

Several drilling locations have been chosen in cooperation with the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) to gain a deeper understanding of conditions below the surface. Some of the boreholes are also being used to investigate groundwater levels.

Following completion of the regional planning procedure, DB Netz AG is now beginning detailed preliminary design. Contracts to design the intersection with the existing line near Heidenau have already been awarded. The design work for the remainder of the line to the Czech Republic is now being put out to tender in a joint procedure with DB Netz AG’s Czech counterpart.

A partially above ground route and an all-tunnel option will be designed and evaluated in parallel. Regional representatives – from municipal and other public authorities, associations and the “Basistunnel nach Prag” (Base Tunnel to Prague) action group – will accompany the planning work in a dialogue forum initiated by Deutsche Bahn and will feed their interests and expertise into the project. In partnership with the region, Deutsche Bahn aims to develop a preferred option for the route of the new line by 2024.

More information on the geological surveys:


Michael Baufeld
Head of Communications
Rail operations in Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 30 2976260062
www.deutschebahn.com/presse twitter.com/DB_Presse