Railway track Stralsund - Sassnitz, Ziegelgrabenbrücke

The way to the island

connecting people

The Königslinie ferries have been transporting railway wagons from the island of Rügen to Sweden since 1909, but only since 1936 have trains been able to reach the island on train tracks. The road and rail connection over the Strelasund and Ziegelgraben was created together with the Rügen Dam. Additional bascule bridges over the Ziegelgraben were built to keep the access to the Port of Stralsund open for large ships. Then disaster struck: after a general breakdown in 2001 nothing seemed to work anymore; the railway bridge could not be opened, sailing ships and other large vessels were stuck.

paving the way

Quick decisions had to be taken: can the bridge still be used; what needs to be replaced? And most importantly, when? The remaining service life of the damaged tension rod had to be determined, structural health monitoring under restricted operation carried out, coordination with timetables, port, mechanical engineering, regulating authorities achieved – and at the same time we were busy with structural design and planning, construction technology and structural assessment. During railway closure, a floating crane lifted the old parts out and the new ones in. And again: measuring, checking, thinking ahead. We needed to keep a cool head, not just during the installation of the bearing pins that had been cooled down to 200°C. Metal shrinks at low temperatures.

creating construction culture

The bascule bridge was preserved in its original form – it remains part of Stralsund’s skyline even after the construction of the new Rügen Bridge. Due to the experience gained, we were able to improve many technical details. The bridge had undergone frequent modifications, but much of the documentation of the changes was missing. Measurement data from original building elements was used to avoid the need for further modifications – the work of engineers past can continue to be used.

Year of completion


Type of intervention


Contracting authority

DB Netz AG



Type of structure

Railway bridge

Construction method

Lifting / assembly of prefabricated parts

Construction material of superstructure

Reinforced concrete, steel

Total length

133,00 m

Type of structural system

Bascule bridge

Span lengths

52,00 m + 29,00 m + 52,00 m

Construction height

3,45 m

Construction width

7,65 m

Services Grassl

Detailed design, planning for approval, construction planning, preparation of tendering, workshop planning, construction supervision, expert report