Development of business units

Development of infrastructure

In 2020, about € 12 billion will be spent for modernizing and maintaining the rail network, stations and energy facilities. This includes € 5.4 billion from the LuFV funding as well as € 2.5 billion for maintenance. In addition, more than 168 major projects are in planning and construction. Eight projects were (partially) commissioned in the first half of 2020. A total of 23 projects are designated for (partial) commissioning. Added to this are 18 groundbreaking events for projects that will increase the network capacity over the long term. About € 2.1 billion will be invested in major projects of the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan in 2020. More information under BAUPROJEKTE.DEUTSCHEBAHN.COM.


  • After about two years of construction work, the system for transferring freight from trains to trucks at the MegaHub Lehrte site began on June 15, 2020. Since then, loading units (containers and semi-­­trailers) have been transferred in the rapid transfer system for combined transport. Instead of arranging individual wagons and rejoining freight trains, the loading units are lifted straight from the train onto the truck. This efficient working method saves time and energy compared to maneuvering the wagons, and also reduces noise exposure.

Under construction

Progress on the Stuttgart — Ulm project

Further progress has been made on the construction work for the Stuttgart 21 sub-­­project:

  • With a length of over 50 km, more than 84% of the tunnels for Stuttgart 21 have been bored and excavated.
  • During the construction of the future central station nine full chalices, three supporting chalices (Restkelche) and a total of 17 chalice feet have been concreted.
  • Both bores of the Filder tunnel have been successfully broken through.
  • The shell of the Neckar bridge is complete.
  • Preparatory construction work has been underway in the plan approval section 1.3a (airport connection) since the beginning of 2020. The approval of the German Federal Railway Authority (Eisenbahn-­­Bundesamt; EBA) for the direct rail link to the airport was finally confirmed in June 2020 after a four-­­year legal dispute.
  • The new Wendlingen—Ulm line is to be commissioned at the end of 2022:
    • The tunnel boring work of 62 km has been completed.
    • In the Albvorland tunnel, work is underway on the inner shell, and the Kleine and Große Wendlinger Kurve (small and large Wendlinger curve) is under construction.
    • The shell of the Filstal bridge is complete in the direction of Munich and is in the construction phase in the direction of Stuttgart.
    • The railway engineering and construction of the ballastless slab tracks are progressing according to schedule along the route on the Alb plateau and on the Alb descent tunnel.

Expansion of the Cologne hub

The highly-­­frequented Cologne hub is to be expanded through a total of 17 infrastructure measures. The design planning of the S11 Core Package project has started with the planned expansion measures at Cologne central station, Cologne Exhibition Center/Deutz and Kalk West. Preliminary planning is complete for the supplementary package for the S11 (includ­ing the extension of the Erft railway). In the project Expansion Line 4 Cologne —Aachen, the work in the plan approval section 1 Eschweiler (to be commissioned in July 2020) and the plan approval section 2 Aachen — Rothe Erde (planned commissioning in December 2021) are still in the implementation phase.

Oldenburg — Wilhelmshaven expansion line

Since 2011, the two-­­track extension and electrification of the Oldenburg — Wilhelmshaven line in order to ensure a high-­­­performance development for the deep-­­water port of Jade­WeserPort have been carried out in several construc-
tion stages. Progress was made in some plan approval sections in the first half of 2020. In plan approval section 5 (Sande— ­Wilhelms­haven) for example, construction work was completed on time at the start of April 2020 after a four-­­week complete closure of the line.

Reconstruction of the Dresden railway

After lawsuits were filed in December 2019 against the plan approval decision for the section Blankenfelde-­­Mahlow, targeted negotiations with the municipality of Blankenfelde-­­Mahlow resulted in the complaints being withdrawn, which means that all plan approval decisions for the Dresden railway are now final. Construction work has already started on this section. The construction work in Berlin is proceeding according to plan. In June 2020, as part of a six-­­week complete closure of the S 2 (South) S-­­Bahn (metro) line, new track sys­tems and two new railway viaducts were commissioned.

Munich — Lindau expansion line 48

Five out of nine lawsuits were settled in favor of DB Group in court or were either withdrawn or settled out of court. The outstanding lawsuits are not impacting the progress of the project. The ongoing construction work was completed by the end of May 2020 in the section Geltendorf— Buchloe —Memmingen— Kißlegg — Hergatz —Weißensberg line, apart from a few bits of remaining work. In 2020, construction work will focus on the two-­­track section of the Weißensberg— Lindau line and the completion of the electrical systems for the traction current supply.

In planning

Hanau — Fulda line expansion/new construction line

In the project Hanau — Würzburg/Fulda Expansion/New Construction Line progress has been made on the plans for the expansion line Hanau —Gelnhausen as well for the new construction line Gelnhausen —Fulda. Preparatory measures such as the Gelnhausen electronic interlocking and bridge construc­tion work will soon begin on the expansion line. Measures going beyond legislation, such as for noise protection and accessibility, have been developed with the region. During its recent parliamentary consultation, the German Parliament decided to finance these measures not covered by legislation.

From over 1,000 line segments examined, 13 variants were mapped out as potential choices for the new line. These were compared in terms of the environment, spatial planning and transport/economic considerations and discussed with region­al interest groups at length in the dialog forum. The for­mal public consultation proceedings will run from June 2 to September 30, 2020.

Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link

The documents for the first section (Fehmarn) are expected to be made publicly available in 2020. The Fehmarn Sound fixed link as the ninth plan approval section is in the preliminary planning stage. In spring 2020, a new immersed tunnel was identified as the preferred option from four potential solutions, preserving the existing bridge for slow traffic.

The BMVI included the Fehmarn Sound fixed link in its report as an annex. The parliamentary consultation was concluded on July 2, 2020. The German Parliament accepted the core requirements for noise protection, protection against vibrations, the course of the routes, the share of the municipalities in the cost and the Fehmarn Sound fixed link. The core requirements will be incorporated into the necessary plan approval and amendment procedures.


We now have the building approvals for a total of 7 of the 15 plan approval sections. Discussion dates for plan approval sections 3.2, 3.3 (Duisburg) and 3.0a (Düsseldorf airport) are set for 2020. Design planning for the plan approval section 2.0 area (Düsseldorf-­­Reisholz and Düsseldorf-­­Benrath) was started at the beginning of 2020. In plan approval section 4.0 (Mülheim) the construction work for the installation of switches was completed. In March 2020, initial work was started in plan approval section 1.2 (Leverkusen) and plan approval section 1.3 (Langenfeld).

Mannheim hub

The basic evaluation on the Mannheim— Heidelberg axis was completed by February 2020. The digital inventory model was handed over to the general planner in April 2020. A decision on which option will be adopted is expected by the fourth quarter of 2020. Planning work for the three remaining projects will also be resumed. The transport and operational tasks for the two projects in the Ludwigshafen area are currently being worked out. The general planning for service phases 1/2 will then be put out for tender. The BMVI is currently conducting an optimization study for the north-­­south connection in the Mannheim hub. The initial results were presented to the Federal state of Baden-­­Württemberg, the region and DB Group in June 2020.

Mannheim — Karlsruhe expansion/new construction line

The first planning services as part of a feasibility study have been in progress here since the beginning of March 2020. This involves open-­­ended investigations to identify the appropriate route and assess the technical feasibility of possible large-­­scale options for two additional tracks on the Baden Rhine Valley railway between Mannheim and Karlsruhe.

Three track expansion of Karlsruhe — Durmersheim

During the establishment of the transport and operational tasks, the Federal state of Baden-­­Württemberg made a binding announcement for additional local transport services in January 2020, thus necessitating an expansion to four tracks. The next step is to clarify the financing for an additional track and thus the basic further procedure. Consultations between the BMVI, the Federal state of Baden-­­Württemberg and DB Group will commence at the beginning of July 2020.

Relocation of the Hamburg-­­Altona long-­­distance and regional station

From March to November 2019, a fact check was carried out in which, under the auspices of the Hamburg Finance Min­ister, DB Group discussed the arguments for and against a reloca­tion of the station. As a result, an out-­­of-­­court agreement was reached with the VCD in February/March 2020, thus ending proceedings. The preparatory measures will now be continued in 2020. The main construction work will then begin in 2021.

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