“Öcher Weather” during RWTH Alumni Meeting at the S21 Construction Site in Stuttgart


One of the greatest infrastructure projects in the heart of Europe is currently being implemented in the Swabian metropolis. Many RWTH Alumni are also involved in this exceptional project.


Several meetings of stakeholders with Aachen background gave rise to the idea to also present the project to other alumni who had made their way to the Stuttgart area due to their careers with Daimler, Porsche,Bosch and others. It goes without saying that another positive side-effect – keeping in touch with other Aachen exiles – was readily embraced.

And so it happened that on August 11, 2017, a group of approximately 40 individuals met up at the Stuttgart main train station to exchange their office shoes for heavy construction boots and tour the construction site of the new Stuttgart underground station in the pouring rain.

In the course of the project, the main train station will be turned by 90 degrees and moved to be underneath the middle of the Schlossgarten park. Thus a new through station is being created to replace the old terminus station. The newly gained ground, free of the former tracks, can then be used for further urban planning.

After the group was apropriately outfitted with construction hats, high-visibility vests and boots, it was time to tour the approximately 950 metres long construction site.

RWTH alumni Daniel Wäschebach and Michael Ditandy, who are both involved in the project in their capacity as civil engineers, were able to give the visitors some insight into the vast extent of the construction project. Worthy of mention are for instance the architecturally and technologically sophisticated support beams – Kelchstützen in German – which will later carry the shell roof of the underground station. The audience was much impressed by the necessity for such a multitude of reconstruction work, the effort of having to transfer many primary roads or subway stops and finally the measures taken to secure the Deutsche Bahn Head Office building against the dynamic effects and subsoil displacements caused by tunnel advance.

After a 90-minute long tour in the pouring rain, the group was happy to move on to the drier “Schankstelle” restaurant. Over beer and burgers the visitors were able to further discuss the construction project while also using this opportunity to find out more about each other's personal lives or take a trip down memory lane to a common Aachen past.

The alumni were not only glad to get to learn about the project, but they were also excited about getting to know other alumni and are looking forward to meeting again in the beautiful city of Stuttgart.

Report: Michael Ditandy