As some of you might know, there are currently construction works alongside the old 220 kV line between Pfungstadt and Weinheim - a part of the in 1926 built North-South-Powerline from the hydroelectric power plants in the Black Forest and Austrian Vorarlberg towards Brauweiler substation near Cologne. Because of increased power generation in the north and an overload on capacity on several north-south running powerlines, in october 2023 Amprion officially started with the construction of this new two circuit 380 kV line.
See here for more informations: https://www.amprion.net/Netzausbau/Aktu ... -Weinheim/
Therefore I try to visit the construction sites every weekend, as long as I have time and the weather is acceptable. It's close to me and this chance to see the construction of a new line while dismantling an old one "live" is quite unique.
The state of construction on that weekend is kind of inconsistent: Between Heppenheim and Weinheim the old line is still completely existent, but out of order. Near Weinheim, on the former crossing of the Highway A659, a few transmission towers are already dismantled. Between Bensheim and Heppenheim dismantling began around 1 or 2 weeks ago and some towers have already disappeared. At the same time new foundations are in progress.
Some impressions from last saturday, 24.02.2024:
The following photos are taken next to Heppenheim, where the old line is still standing (but out of service). Here the new line will be built a little bit west of the old one, closer to the railway powerline (until 1983 there was a two-circuit railway powerline in this corridor, when building the new line it was placed next to in at some distance - I would guess).
Between Pfungstadt and Heppenheim the new line will be placed exactly in the corridor of the old one. Therefore they're already busy with dismanteling the conductors, insulators and even some towers are already gone.
To close this (hopefully weekly) update, let me say some words.
This powerline that is currently dismanteled, is not a powerline like many others. It's unique. It was a part of the first power line built for a voltage of more than 300 kV in the world. It was the first powerline worldwide to connect multiple power stations of different sources and distribute this power to multiple regions. And last but not least, the powerline with the most inconic (and beautiful
) transmission towers.
When I started my interest in power lines at the age of 3 or 4 years, these kind of towers immediately fell into my sight. Back then I lived in Darmstadt and every time we went on a trip or visiting friends or relatives, we passed these line. Back then the continuing section of the line from Pfungstadt to Kelsterbach still existed and one of the towers stood directly next to the Highway A672. Unfortunately at the beginning of 2008, when we already moved away, this section was dismanteled along with the old Kelsterbach substation.
A few years later when I discovered the world wide web, I read the article on Wikipedia about this line, not knowing that I passed a milestone of modern energy systems that often. The city where I lived after that (Leonberg, near Stuttgart) also lies on a section of the same powerline. I saw the towers of the line (here other types of towers were used) every day when I looked out of my window. My interest in powerlines, power plants and substations just grew more and more.
I still remember when Amprion organzied an open day on the substation in Pfungstadt and I came there for a visit. It was at the time where I already attended university. They presented both of their local projekcts (Ultranet and 380 kV Pfungstadt-Weinheim) and I had a long talk with one of the referents of the company. He told me that the people from Amprion know about the historical value and until these will disappear, it will take some years due to difficulties with permissions etc. Well... the days of the most iconic towers in the history of power transmission are counted. Luckily I visited them often ond took photos of them at the time the circuits were still operating.