Thursday, September 4, 2014

Walking through the Gate

Here is the opening of St. Martin's Gate without the catenary.
Presently it is possible to walk though Freiburg's Martinstor undisturbed; the opening is usually reserved for streetcars. The reason is that since June 10, the center area around the Bertoldsbrunnen is a construction site.

Construction site in Freiburg's center (©Badische Zeitung)
The place where all four streetcar lines had their stops is hermetically sealed off. The streetcars end as a stub lines away from the city center with a bus circle line connecting the end points makeshift. Pedestrians err around high construction site fences and retailers in the area complain about meager sales.

Long walks to join public transport
The rails around the Bertoldsbrunnen dating from 1954 were rotten and when breaks of switch blades became more frequent the city and public transport decided in 2013 that a general refurbishment. was necessary. At the same time the sewer system built in 1896 was due for a reconstruction.

Constructing the sewer system in Kaiserstraße
(now Kaiser-Joseph-Straße) in 1896
Here are some more photos:

Fitting in the complicated new track system with a crossing and a couple of switches.
Heavy steel hammers are used and sparks are flying.
The old rails were supported by a ballast bed. The new rails sit on a concrete foundation with
rubber buffers damping the noise of the wheels. Will the new rails last for 60 years too?
Laying out stones remaking the mosaic patterns on Kaiser-Joseph-Straße
Freiburg's center will again be fully operational by October 15.

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