Statics calculation


  • Client: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, LSBG
  • Existing structure:
    • Building length: c. 920 m
      Years of construction:
      1873 – 1895
    • Excavation mining / open construction
    • Brickwork construction
      Covering of the tunnel: 7 m to 80 cm
  • Our scope:
    • Deformation calculation, verification of stability
    • Proposal of safeguarding measures monitoring programme

A practically forgotten relic.

The Schellfischtunnel (shellfish tunnel) is an old railway tunnel in Hamburg’s Altona district. It connects Altona station with the fishing port of Altona. The tunnel was used by the harbour railway until 1992; then the railway service was withdrawn and the tunnel was sealed with iron gates.

The single-track tunnel was built in a brickwork construction style between 1873 and 1895. It was constructed partly by excavation mining as well as in open construction. In some places the cover above the tunnel structure is only 80 cm thick. The tunnel runs underneath several busy roads in the Altona district. Two of the three tunnel sections show evidence of longitudinal and transverse cracks in the brickwork in the ridge area.

The stability of the damaged tunnel sections was tested with the aid of our BIN-GEO programme. This took all the building phases into account. The results of the calculations closely matched the cracks that are actually observed on-site. Thanks to our calculations, a threat to the tunnel’s stability could be safely excluded. It was thus proposed to carry out simple safeguarding measures inside the tunnel and a monitoring programme to observe the cracks in the ridge area. This makes it possible to avoid the cost-intensive demolition of the tunnel.

So the Schellfischtunnel can remain under the ground, invisible but safe, as a practically forgotten relic of earlier times.

Unpredictable was yesterday.


Ground Deformation Calculations

Calculation Programme

A big hole next to the Alster lake.

Cut & cover building pit

Europa Passage


Far more than a station roof.

Intercity Train Station

Frankfurt Airport

Frankfurt am Main