Structural Monitoring on the Longest Railway Bridge in Germany

Initial Situation

As part of the new railway route VDE 8.2 NBS Erfurt – Leipzig/ Halle the longest bridge in Germany will be built in the south of Halle – the Saale Elster Valley Bridge. The bridge is 8.6 km long consisting of 217 piles and erected as a prestressed concrete bridge. In the control range the bridge consists of a row of two span beams with a span of 44 m and a construction height of 4,0 m. Bigger distances will be spanned by three span beams. The main bridge broadens in the area of the 7-span-beam from two to four tracks. The two one-track bridge sections merge again and form the turnout to Halle. In the area of the crossing to Halle and the NBS the main track 5919 will be transferred to the southern turnout to Halle by a suspended deck arch bridge.

To meet the high requirements for the superstructure regarding high speed railway traffic and to verify the load of the superstructure a metrological monitoring is required by the Eisenbahnbundesamt (Federal Railway Authority). Mainly the deformation of the building, the tangent (rotation) angle, the lateral offset as well as the rail tension will be measured.


The goal of the structural monitoring is to gather data concerning the deformation of the structure or parts of the structure in selected parts of the bridge. All in all the following areas will be monitored metrologically:

1.             Behavior of the structure at the joints

2.            Meeting the requirements for slab track

3.            Load in the rail

4.            Compensation plate

5.            Long-term reaction of the superstructure.

This data will be collected, transmitted, filed and evaluated over a long period of time.


To be able to separate the influences to the substructure due to environmental conditions from the other and to identify them the temperature of the superstructure and the environmental conditions will be measured with temperature sensors in different sections of the building.

Different monitoring systems will be used for the measurements of the deformation e.g. electronic hose leveling, laser distance sensors, inductive displacement transducers, inclinometers.

In the track strain gauges and several sensors will be installed at the rail to measure the deformation and the temperatures.

The metrological investigation includes long term- as well as dynamic short-term measurements. To evaluate the dynamic short-term measurements the related train settings will be acquired and filed.

The data preparation and evaluation will be made at set dates for defined periods of time until 1 year after first operation of the route. The data collected during the measurements will be edited and compared with the values set in the structural analysis.

13,00 m
21,00 m
8,64 m

Prestressed concrete box-girder bridge DLT

Nearby Halle (Saale) on the route 5919 Erfurt - Leipzig/Halle (Saale) in km 272.293

Regular spans:
44.0 m

Span suspended deck arch bridge:
110 m

Activities Marx Krontal:
Development and implementation of a monitoring concept, evaluation of the monitoring results

Ends in 2016