Dr. Walter Casazza - Articles and news items
Issue 1 2012 • 17 February 2012 • Dr. Walter Casazza, CEO, Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund GmbH (KVV)
In September 2002, the citizens of Karlsruhe approved a project solution called ‘Kombi-Lösung’ (‘combined solution’). The term ‘combined’ stands for the two parts of the project – a city light-rail tunnel and a new tram line running parallel to the main pedestrian street in Karlsruhe, on top of a new road tunnel!
The light-rail tunnel
From 2017 there will be a 3.4km-long T-shaped light-rail tunnel running under the main pedestrian street of Karlsruhe – the Kaiserstrasse – with a branch into the south of the marketplace. There will be seven modern, comfortable and safe underground stops and three surface stops. The light-rail tunnel will run under two principal axes of the inner city, both in a west-east direction under the pedestrian area and in a southern junction in a north-south direction under the historical marketplace and which will pass under a four-lane main road.
The underground tracks will be connected to the existing overground network via ramps. The tunnel will link four underground stops on a length of approximately 2.4km in a west-east direction and three stops in a north-south running tunnel section of about 1km-long. The tunnel will consist of a tube approximately 9m in diameter in which two tracks will be laid.
In Karlsruhe, a fully developed tram-system has been operating since 1900, and there is also an important railway junction where many main lines and branch lines meet. This situation creates the idea of a track sharing network – connecting the tram and rail network. Using existing infrastructure should help to avoid big investments in new railway or tramlines and a direct connection between the city centre and the countryside makes creating interchanges unnecessary.