Zweite Hinterrheinbrücke, Reichenau, Switzerland


Photo Credit: COWI, Matthias Ludin

Project Data:


Rhaetian Railway


Inner Rhine river at Reichenau, Switzerland

Service Dates:

2015 - 2019


Conceptual design, detailed design, construction support

Design Team:

COWI (Flint & Neill), WaltGalmarini, Dissing+Weitling Architects, Hager Partner (Landscape)


Schneider Stahlbau, Joerimann Stahl, Toscano Stahlbau, Erni Bauunternehmung

Project Description:

This striking new single-track railway bridge stands beside an important 19th century steel truss railway bridge, crossing the Rhine and the adjacent A13 highway at an historic location at Reichenau. The design is the winning entry in an international design competition held by Rhätische Bahn in 2015.

The 200m long bridge comprises 1.7m deep steel box girders each side with closely spaced crossbeams supporting the ballasted track. Each side of the river, the 65m main span is supported on steel "quadropod" legs springing from slender concrete piers aligned with the existing piers, and a V-shaped pier supports the bridge adjacent to the busy highway.

Fabricated steel units were delivered to an assembly area beside the river, assembled into long sections and installed by crane which could reach as far as the eastern river pier. The eastern end of the bridge, further from the crane, including the span over the road, were assembled as one long piece and placed on top of the already assembled spans, and launched over the road in a single overnight operation.

The bridge was completed in 2018, allowing rail traffic to be diverted off the old bridge so that it can undergo restoration and improvement works which include a new span over the road designed to match its new neighbour. All works will be complete with both tracks in service in 2019.


Photo Credit: COWI, Roman Sidler


Photo Credit: COWI, Roman Sidler


Photo Credit: COWI, Stéphane Braune


Photo Credit: COWI

Note: The design of this project was carried out while working with COWI (previously Flint & Neill) and it is illustrated here with permission.