On 9 December 2015 the new high-speed intercity connection between Erfurt and Leipzig / Halle was inaugurated.

The new section is part of the new and extended railway connection from Nuremberg to Berlin within the German reunification 8 project and is a part of the trans-European transport network from Northern Italy to Scandinavia.

The Goldschmidt Thermit Group based in Leipzig provided continuously welded rails suitable for the high-speed trains, which will use the new high-speed section of track ensuring a high level of comfort for rail travellers and those living near to the railway tracks.

The Elektro-Thermit & Co KG, the largest subsidiary of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group with its headquarters in Halle (Saale), supplied all the products required for the joining of the rails using the THERMIT® welding process.

This included the welding compounds, moulds and reaction crucibles. The new section of railway track from Erfurt to Leipzig / Halle was welded over a number of years using the THERMIT welding process. In this project, the THERMIT welding process for the continuous welding of tracks, patented 120 years ago, was mainly used for final welds, switches and areas near to stops.

"The high-speed section between Berlin and Nuremberg is a milestone for the region of Leipzig / Halle. Such investments have a double dividend: firstly for the region because an improved infrastructure strengthens the economy and therefore creates jobs and secondly for the companies and their employees involved in the implementation process," explains Dr. Hans-Jürgen Mundinger, CEO of the Goldschmidt Thermit Group.

"We are involved where nobody sees us with our traditional process for the joining of rails which serves to increase the comfort and the security of rail passengers", adds Dr.-Ing Matthias Wewel, CEO of Elektro-Thermit GmbH & Co. KG in Halle. "The THERMIT welds are robust, lower noise levels for people living near to the track, and reduce the maintenance requirements for the operating authority."

€13bn are being invested in the development of the corridor between Munich and Berlin. The reunification transport projects were originally set in motion by the German government in 1991 after the reunification of Germany. The project is being realised by the DB ProjektBau, a subsidiary of the Deutschen Bahn.

After conclusion of the work the travelling time from Munich to Berlin will be just 4h. This is roughly half of the previous time required for the same journey.