Development of the infrastructure
In 2021, more than € 12.7 billion will be used to renew and maintain the network, stations and energy facilities. This includes € 5.4 billion from the LuFV funding (grants and own contribution) as well as € 2.5 billion for maintenance. In the first half of 2021, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on construction projects was kept to a minimum by means of effective crisis management. As a result of close monitoring and targeted countermeasures, disruptions that occurred were quickly resolved in many cases, working together with the construction industry, meaning that there was little impact on deadlines.
In the first half of 2021, the following construction projects were started and commissioned as part of the requirement plan and the Municipal Transport Financing Act (Gemeindeverkehrsfinanzierungsgesetz; GVFG):
Start of construction in the first half of 2021
Eggolsheim—Strullendorf four-track expansion
Construction of new ESTW-A Angersdorf with track plan conversion (plan approval section 4)
Commissionings in the first half of 2021
West side of Halle central station: Conversion of
two-track expansion of the northern
Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum — Mülheim (Ruhr)-Heißen:
Breisgau Metro (S-Bahn)
Electrification of the Denzlingen— Elzach
- The Halle internal hub was officially commissioned in January 2021. The Federal Government, DB Group, the State of Saxony-Anhalt and the City of Halle invested a total of about € 800 million. We completely rebuilt the central station while train operations were still ongoing. In addition, 50 km of track and 200 switches were renewed and two electronic interlockings were installed. A modern marshaling yard was also created.
A further 172 projects under the requirement plan and the GVFG were in the planning or construction phases.
- Stuttgart — Ulm project: Further progress has been made in the Stuttgart 21 sub-projects (to be commissioned in late 2025) and Wendlingen — Ulm new construction line (to be commissioned in late 2022).
- Cologne hub: The Cologne hub is to be expanded through a total of 17 infrastructure measures. In the Cologne — Aachen expansion line 4 project, work in the Aachen-Rothe Erde area is still in the implementation phase. Construction work on the Troisdorf — Bonn-Beuel S13 expansion project is progressing on schedule.
- Oldenburg — Wilhelmshaven expansion line: The conversion work at Sande station and Varel station is progressing rapidly. In addition to the ongoing expansion work in Oldenburg, work on the Alexanderstraße level crossing began in January 2021. Work on the new road and rail crossings will continue for the Sande track-laying project, with track construction having begun in June 2021. The overhead wire work was started on all of the above sections. Construction of the new Rastede substation, the Oldenburg switchgear and the two auto-transformer stations commenced in June 2021.
- Frankfurt am Main hub: Work on the Homburger Damm project near Frankfurt central station is in its final stage. In the Stadion project, the hearing procedures for the second stage of construction, along with plan approval section 1 (Frankfurt) and plan approval section 2 (Maintal) of the North Main S-Bahn (metro) are complete, meaning that the EBA can now prepare the plan approval decision. The feasibility study for the new Frankfurt long-distance railway tunnel has been completed. Following formal assignment in spring 2021, planning for the long-distance railway tunnel began in late June 2021.
- Dresdner Bahn: Construction began in April 2021 for the connection curve for the Dresden railway to connect to the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). After completion, the shuttle service between Berlin central station and the airport station will run every 15 minutes with a target travel time of 20 minutes.
- Berlin ― Dresden expansion line: The first construction phase is currently underway. Wünsdorf-Waldstadt station is in the implementation phase, with the conversion of the eastern part of the station having begun. The overall commissioning of the Wünsdorf-Waldstadt station is planned for late 2022. Zossen station is expected to be converted from 2022 to 2024. The construction financing agreement was concluded in February 2021. For the second construction phase, the drafts are currently being prepared (performance phase 3) across all project sections. In addition, coordination is ongoing on the crossing measures and construction technology with all project partners concerned.
- Leipzig — Dresden expansion line (German unification transport project [Verkehrsprojekte Deutsche Einheit; VDE] 9): in April 2021, construction work was completed to enable passenger and freight transport to continue to run on one track during future construction phases while the other track is being converted. The main construction phase will begin in September 2021.
- Nuremberg — Ebensfeld expansion line: In construction phase 23 Hallstadt — Breitengüßbach, platforms and new tracks in the Hallstadt station were put into operation in March 2021, among other facilities. Extensive archaeological excavation was completed in April 2021. Work is currently underway to build new track systems on the left side of the railway. Two new tracks will be built. On the about 21-km-long Forchheim — Strullendorf line, work on the four-track expansion will continue until 2025. The next few kilometers were started with plan approval section 19 (Forchheim — Eggolsheim). Others will follow with plan approval section plan 21 (Altendorf — Hirschaid — Strullendorf), for which construction permits were granted by the EBA in late May 2021.
- External Halle hub: The ongoing work in the Halle external hub will round off the entire project. The bridges in the Merseburger Straße area were torn down in February 2021. The new segments will be inserted in July 2021. In addition, tracks and platforms will be renewed and the mechanical switch towers will be replaced by a new electronic interlocking. The line is closed for construction work. It is expected to be commissioned in December 2021.
- Frankfurt Stadion hub: In the Frankfurt Stadion project, the plan approval documents for the third construction phase were submitted to the EBA in March 2021. The expansion to four tracks is intended to resolve the existing bottleneck and increase capacity coming from Mannheim to Frankfurt central station.
- Dresden ― Prague new construction line: As part of the preliminary planning, two variants with sub-variants will be examined. As a result, a cross-border tunnel will be built that is at least 25 km long (thereof at least 14 km will be on the German side). This will be Germany’s longest railway tunnel. The joint planning services of DB Netz AG and Správa želecnic are to be awarded in 2021. Plans are progressing in the area of the existing line between Dresden and the planned branch in Heidenau.
- Dresden ― Görlitz expansion line: The regional planning process for the traction current line was initiated in April 2021. The formal requirements for the project were established with the entry into force of the Structural Reinforcement Act for Mining Regions (Strukturstärkungsgesetz Kohleregionen). The Dresden — Görlitz electrification was included in the law. In 2021, the Federal Government and the Free State of Saxony will coordinate on the specific content of the project and on the modalities of financing and project implementation.
- Bamberg hub: The public presentation of the plan approval documents for the four-track expansion of the rail hub has been completed, and the objections are being processed. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the discussion procedure has not yet been finalized. The approval process is being heavily affected by extensive amendment requests from the City of Bamberg and changes to the regulations in connection with the draining of surface water. This may affect the deadline for the plan approval decision and the start of the main construction measures.
- S-Bahn (metro) line S4 (Hamburg ― Bad Oldesloe) new construction: In coordination with the hearing authority and the EBA, the public presentation of the first plan amendment for plan approval section 2 is scheduled for late 2021. The plan approval decision is expected in 2022. The most recent talks on the hearing procedure are currently taking place for plan approval section 3. The hearings are scheduled to start in spring 2022.
- Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link: The processing of the about 250 objections for the Fehmarn section has been completed and the synopses have been handed over to the Office of Planning Approval for Transport (Amt für Planfeststellung Verkehr; APV). Public presentations of further plan approval sections are expected to follow in 2021. The draft and approval planning for the Fehmarn Sound Fixed Link was started in 2021, working together with planning partner DEGES for the road sections.
- Rhine-Ruhr-Express (RRX): Plan approval procedures have been initiated for 12 of the 15 plan approval sections. In total, construction permits have been granted for seven plan approval sections. The plan approval documents for plan approval section 3.1 (Düsseldorf-Angermund) were submitted in January 2021. Work on plan approval sections 1.2 (Leverkusen) and plan approval section 1.3 (Langenfeld) was completed on schedule. With the start of construction (construction preparation) for the Düsseldorf electronic interlocking, the first work in the Düsseldorf city area has begun. Plan approval section 4.0 (Mülheim) was commissioned together with the Duisburg electronic interlocking.
- Expansion line 46/2 (Emmerich ― Oberhausen): To date, five out of 12 plan approval decisions have been issued. Construction work on the line expansion has begun and will be gradually expanded with the further plan approval decisions.
- Four-track expansion of Heidelberg-Wieblingen ― Heidelberg central station: The fundamental evaluation was completed in February 2020. The as-built 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 2021. Planning for the three other projects between Mannheim central station and Friedrichsfeld Süd was resumed at the beginning of 2021.
- Karlsruhe ― Durmersheim third track: The announcement of additional local transport services by the State of Baden-Württemberg in February 2020 will require a sensitivity analysis for a fourth track. The signing of the financing agreement with the State of Baden-Württemberg is scheduled for 2021.
- Relocation of the Hamburg-Altona station: The main construction work began in the second quarter of 2021. Financing is secured. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on July 5, 2021.
- Berlin-Brandenburg i2030 projects: The rail infrastructure in Berlin and Brandenburg will be further developed together with the Federal states and the Berlin Brandenburg transport association (Verkehrsverbund Berlin Brandenburg; VBB). To this end, concrete expansion measures for the long-distance/regional railway and the Berlin S-Bahn (metro) are being pursued in a total of nine corridors. A total of 35 individual measures to increase capacity and operating quality are being pursued in the Berlin S-Bahn (metro) corridor. The planning phase of the first tranche of these measures will start shortly.
- Angermünde ― Stettin expansion line: The expansion for speeds of up to 160 km/h, continuous electrification and the construction of a second track will allow shorter travel times, more trains on the track and climate-friendly mobility. In addition, five stations on the line are being modernized. The Federal Government and DB Group signed the financing agreement in March 2021. The Federal Government has made about € 380 million available. In addition, the Federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg have each contributed € 50 million to the project in order to make a continuous, two-track expansion possible. The first building permit for expansion between Angermünde and Stettin has been available since June 2021. With this plan approval decision, the work between Angermünde and Passow can begin as planned in November 2021.