U3 city centre

Modernizing the metro in the heart of Hamburg

It is now more than 100 years ago that the first underground railway was built with 23 stations as a circle line around the Alster Lake, in the heart of Hamburg. And tens of thousands of citizens of Hamburg as well as guests from all over the world are still using the U3 today.

So that the U3 can continue to offer passengers the shortest and most reliable way into the city centre in the decades to come as well, extensive construction work will be taking place between January 2021 and early summer 2022 on the stretch of track between Hauptbahnhof und Baumwall. This is absolutely necessary to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the U-Bahn looking ahead.

 

For this reason the U3 will not run in the City Centre between 28 January (from 9 pm) and the end of March 2022. You can find all you need to know about the closure and alternative ways to get to your destination here:

 

HOCHBAHN combines as many elements of the work as possible in order to make the best use of the 14-month period services are interrupted between Baumwall and Hauptbahnhof. The centerpiece of the project is the complete renewal of the U-Bahn trough construction, i.e. the tunnel exit of the U3 at Mönkedamm. In addition, the following work will be carried out:

  • U3 station Mönckebergstraße: conversion for barrier-free access and construction of a second station entrance
  • U3 station Rathaus: conversion for barrier-free access
  • U3 station Rödingsmarkt: extensive maintenance work
  • Waterproofing and maintenance work on the tunnel between Mönckebergstraße and the trough construction
  • Repair and maintenance of the viaducts
  • Renewal of the tracks, track ballast bedding, cabling and power rails between   Mönkedamm/trough construction and Rödingsmarkt

Almost all elements of the project are classified as protected historical monuments. Because of this and the very restricted space for the underground and surface building work, particular care is needed. The amount invested in the renovation and conversion for barrier-free access of the U3 in the city centre totals some 90 million euros.

After completion in 2022, all U-Bahn stations in the city centre area (including the U1 stations Jungfernstieg and Steinstraße), and thus 95 % of our stations will have been converted for barrier-free access.

 

The centrepiece: the trough construction

The core and centrepiece of the project is the trough construction of the tunnel at Adolphsplatz/Mönkedamm, which runs underneath the Chamber of Commerce building (Handelskammer Innovation Campus (HKIC)). The tunnel exit consisting of a concrete foundation and walls over which the U-Bahn trains coming from Rathaus run onto the ramp towards Rödingsmarkt must be demolished and completely rebuilt.

The reason: the trough construction is supported by wooden piles which stand in the water, and which are meanwhile showing severe signs of erosion. Further reliable and safe operation of the U-Bahn can only be guaranteed if HOCHBAHN completely renews the construction and drives new piles into the ground. That means that there is no alternative to the line closure.

The safety of passengers on the U3 is and always has been ensured. Nevertheless a speed limit of 30 km/h already applies in the area of the tunnel trough construction in order to avoid putting too much strain on the over 100 year old construction.

 

U3 Station Mönckebergstrasse

The U3 station Mönckebergstraße will be converted for barrier-free access by spring 2022. It will be getting one lift for each platform, raised platform sections to get on and off trains at the same height as the coaches and a guide system for blind and visually impaired persons (tactile paving).

All our underground U-Bahn stations must have a second entrance, which can function as an emergency exit when needed. Mönckebergstraße is the last underground station on the Hamburg U-Bahn network where this is still missing. That is why it will be getting a fully equipped second entrance hall complete with a ticket area and stairs from street level. These – like the new lifts - will be located near the Levantehaus and the Barkhof-Passage. On the one hand this will improve access to the surrounding shops and will also be closer to Hauptbahnhof.  

And: in view of its age, the structural substance will be thoroughly renovated and the station completely modernized. Just like the station at Rathaus, Mönckebergstraße station will be getting a fresher and more modern look. Great attention was paid when designing the lifts to making them transparent and light and airy. They are entirely made of glass – like the balustrades of the new staircases leading to Mönckebergstraße station. This will enable the lifts and the stairs to blend harmoniously into the streetscape.  

 

U3 Station Rathaus

The U3 station Rathaus will be converted for barrier-free access by spring 2022. . It will be getting one lift for each platform, raised platform sections to get on and off trains at the same height as the coaches and a guide system for blind and visually impaired persons (tactile paving).

On top of this, the necessary underground technical facilities for operating the lifts will be installed. And: in view of its age, the structural substance will be thoroughly renovated and the station completely modernized Just like the station at Mönckebergstraße, Rathaus station will be getting a fresher and more modern look. Due to its special position right next to Hamburg’s Town Hall, great attention was paid when designing the lifts to making them transparent and light and airy. They are entirely made of glass, thus enabling them to blend harmoniously into their surroundings.     

 

U3 Station Rödingsmarkt

In the case of the U3 station Rödingsmarkt, a thorough overhaul is necessary: the staircases, ticket hall, platform hall as well as the adjoining steel viaducts and a concrete bridge will all be renovated. In addition, the area of raised platform to get on and off trains at the same height as the coaches will be extended. And: all the signalling equipment, cabling, tracks and track ballast bedding will be renewed.  

The station will be completely encased for the duration of the building work. This will take place from 4 January 2021 till June 2022.

 

The viaducts

The U3 runs above ground on viaducts, i.e., supports or bridges, between the tunnel exit underneath the HKIC building and Rödingsmarkt station. Due to their age and existing damage.  these will be extensively overhauled. What appears at first sight to be an integrated construction is in fact four separate structures, and these will be dealt with section by section over the duration of the project: these are steelwork, structural reinforcement measures and renewal of corrosion protection.

 

The Tunnel

The tunnel through which the U3 has run for more than 100 years must be renovated and sealed from the outside in some places.  Along a total length of 861 metres between Mönckebergstraße and Adolphsplatz, in particular, defective and leaking spots on the roof and walls need to be protected against damp.   

This work can mostly be carried out underground without causing any restrictions for roads and traffic movement on the surface. There are however three places where the surface needs to be dug up in order to expose the tunnel roof to carry out sealing work: these are at Adolphsplatz (February till October 2021), Große Johannisstraße (September 2021 till April 2022) and Rathaus (enlargement of the existing construction site for barrier-free conversion) (June 2021 till April 2022).

 

 

You can find all you need to know about the closure and alternative ways to get to your destination here:

If you have any questions or suggestions about the “U3 city centre” project, please get in touch with:

HOCHBAHN Customer Dialogue
Tel.: 040/32 88-27 23 (Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm)
E-Mail: info@hochbahn.de
Hamburger Hochbahn AG, Steinstraße 20, 20095 Hamburg