German side: preferred variant is the full tunnel option
In November 2023, DB Netz AG announced its preferred option for the route on the German side: the full tunnel variant. Until then, two different tunnel variants have been investigated in depth – the full tunnel and the partial tunnel option.
The partial tunnel option would begin in Heidenau with a short tunnel section which will afterwards run across the Seidewitz valley to Goes (Dohma) with a viaduct of approximately 490 m in length. The full tunnel variant will run completely in a tunnel through the Ore Mountains directly after Heidenau. For both options the Erzgebirgstunnel leads almost to Ústí nad Labem on the Czech side.
Participants of the dialogue forum and technical experts, together with DB, collected and discussed aspects (criteria) from the areas of environment, nature, and people and infrastructure in five meetings. In January 2023 they adopted the catalogue of criteria for comparing the route options.
After the weighting of the respective criteria was discussed within the dialogue forum, the route options were assessed on the basis of the criteria. This evaluation served as a basis for the decision on the so-called preferred variant.
The working group for the catalogue of criteria serves as a consultation. In this way, Deutsche Bahn benefits from the thoughts and suggestions of the participants, while the process of finding a preferred variant becomes transparent for them through the exchange. Criteria can include, for example, the crossing of biotopes or the impact of the route on road traffic.
To the final catalogue of criteria for infrastructure [DE]
To the final catalogue of criteria for environment, nature, and people [DE]
However, the preliminary planning will probably not be completed before the end of 2024. After that, the decision on a definite route will be made.