Development of business units

Development of infrastructure

In the year under review, about € 10.6 billion was spent for the renewal and maintenance of the rail network, stations and energy facilities. This includes LuFV financing of about € 4.3 billion and about € 2.3 billion for maintenance. In total, more than 50 major projects are in the planning and construction phases. About € 2.3 billion was invested in major projects in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan in the year under review. Information on current and future construction projects can be found in our construction information portal (BauInfoPortal).


Almost 30 projects were completed in the year under review. These included, among other things:

  • As part of the second expansion stage of the Magdeburg railway hub, on May 12, 2019 the new platforms 2 – 5 and the associated rail infrastructure were commissioned.
  • As part of the Hoyerswerda―Horka―Border G/PL expansion line, the two-­track commissioning of the line section Niesky―Horka was carried out in October 2019.

Under construction

Progress on the Stuttgart — Ulm project

Construction work on the Stuttgart 21 sub-­project continued to progress in the year under review:

  • With a length of more than 49 km, more than 80% of the tunnels for Stuttgart 21 have been bored and excavated.
  • In the construction of the future central station, five full chalices, two supporting chalices (Restkelche) and a total of 12 chalice feet are being concreted. Work is also underway on the station’s floor panel. The work on the northern and southern end is being further advanced.
  • In the Filder tunnel, the fourth and final tunnel drive of the tunnel boring machine has been completed. The inner shell has been constructed in the Cannstatt, Feuerbach, Ober­­türkheim and Untertürkheim supply tunnels.
  • The road surface of the Neckar bridge was concreted.
  • Following the submission of an appeal to the Higher Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof), the deci­-
    sion to reinstate the immediate enforceability of plan approval section 1.3a in the airport sector was suspended in December 2018. Recovery of the plan approval pro­ce­dure and restoration of immediate implementation by
    the Federal Railway Authority (Eisenbahn-­Bundesamt; EBA) took place in October 2019. As a result, an application was filed to restore the suspensive effect of the appeal against the change plan approval decision. A court decision on this is pending.
  • In the case of the new construction line Wendlingen — Ulm, the tunnel boring work of a total of 62 km has been completed as far as possible. In the Albvorland tunnel, the boring work with both tunnel boring machines has been completed. The first sections of the small and large Wendling curve are under construction. On the Fils Valley viaduct, the link between the Boßler and Steinbühl tunnel, the bridge superstructure is being built, and numerous pillars have been completed. Along the line on the Alb plateau and the Alb descent tunnel, the railway technical equipment and the construction of the ballastless slab tracks are underway.

Modernization of Stuttgart Central Station

From the beginning of 2020, the historic concourse building of Stuttgart Central Station, the Bonatzbau, will be extensively modernized in parallel to the Stuttgart—Ulm (S21) rail project. The protected structure is being given a new supporting structure and modern building technology. In addition, several new underground buildings and newly designed forecourts are being created at Stuttgart Central Station.

At the end of March 2019, the first preparatory work was started for a service building on platform 1 for the duration of the construction. This has been under construction since late April 2019. Since June 2019, a waiting hall has also been erected at the Kurt-­Georg-­Kiesinger-­Platz. During the reconstruction of the concourse building, the new hall offers a heated waiting area with seats for about 120 passengers. The start of the main construction work is planned for the beginning of 2020. The first partial areas are expected to be available to passengers from 2024 onwards.

Expansion of the Cologne hub

The highly-­frequented Cologne hub is to be expanded through a total of 17 infrastructure measures. The construction works to expand the S 13 from Troisdorf to Bonn-­Oberkassel are running on schedule as far as possible. At present, the prelim­­i­­nary planning phase has been completed for Project S 11, with its core package of expansion measures between Cologne Cen­­tral Station and Bergisch Gladbach. A planning agreement was drawn up for the planning of two additional local transport tracks between Cologne-­Hansaring and Hürth-­Kalscheuren (Westspange Köln) and the electrification of the Eifel line between Hürth-­Kalscheuren and Kall in February 2019. The southern Gummersbach street expansion project is approaching the end of draft and approval planning. In the expansion line project 4 Cologne―Aachen, work is in the plan approval section 1, for the Eschweiler station, and plan approval section 2, for Aachen-Rothe Erde, in the execution phase.

Oldenburg ― Wilhelmshaven expansion line

Since 2011, the two-­track expansion and electrification of the Oldenburg―Wilhelmshaven line has been underway, in order to ensure a high-­performance and demand-­oriented infrastruc­ture development in a less popular area for the JadeWeserPort deep-­water port.

  • For the plan approval section 1, Oldenburg—Rastede, the start of construction of the main works was carried out in January 2020 after delays due to a court decision on emergency appeals in connection with ongoing actions against the plan approval decision.
  • In the plan approval section 4.1, Varel―Sande, the building work is expected to be completed on schedule in April 2020.
  • In the plan approval section 4.2, the start of construction was carried out in August 2019.
  • In the plan approval section 5, Sande―Wilhelmshaven, the building work in all areas is on schedule. The electronic interlocking at Sande was expected to be commissioned in March 2020.
  • In the plan approval section 6, Weißer Floh―JadeWeserPort, modified plan documents were disclosed in December 2019.

Frankfurt hub expansion

The Frankfurt am Main hub is one of the most heavily frequented in our network. With the infrastructure expansion plan Frankfurt RheinMain Plus, we are ensuring the expansion of capacity in the hub and a good connection between local and long-­distance passenger transport. New additions were made to the Frankfurt Central Station hub in the year under review, among other things a long-­distance rail tunnel, for which the feasibility study was launched in autumn 2019.

Reconstruction of the Dresden railway

The Dresden railway is an important connecting element on the major transport axis to Southeastern Europe, as it is reducing the burden on the Anhalt railway as an important European transport hub in the direction of the south. As part of the project, about 16 km of line will be rebuilt, including the renovation of nine bridges and three stations, and the elimination of nine level crossings.

For the first time in Germany, a noise barrier has already been erected in the end position before the main construction services begin in order to effectively protect residents against construction noise.

The construction work in the Berlin section continues to run on schedule. In August 2019, the plan approval decision was issued after about 22 years of the procedure for the section Blankenfelde — Mahlow in the Dresden railway project for the Brandenburg section.

Proceedings were brought against the decision before the Federal administrative court and provisional legal protection was requested. This means that further awards for the main construction services in the section Blankenfelde — Mahlow are risk-­prone.

Munich — Lindau expansion line 48

The electrification and expansion of the Munich — Lindau — border G/A line enables a modern long-­distance transport service to be offered between the European metropolises of Munich and Zurich.

The legal approval proceedings were completed for all sections in the year under review. Between now and 2020, the main construction phase will be carried out with widespread section-­by-­section line suspensions.

Modernization of Dortmund central station

The main construction works to modernize the Dortmund central station began in June 2018. After completion of the work, predicted in 2024, the station will be completely accessible and allow for barrier-­free connectivity between all modes of transport. The first stage of construction has already been completed and platforms 26/31 were put into operation in the year under review.

Lehrte MegaHub

The essential structural infrastructure of the Lehrte MegaHub was completed in the year under review. The test and trial run started with the schedule change in December 2019. The start of the trial run with public transport is planned for April 2020. The total commissioning of the transshipment facility is also planned for 2020.


Karlsruhe — Basel expansion/new construction line

The 182 km long Karlsruhe — Basel expansion/new construction line has an important function for supra-­regional and in­­ternational rail transport due to its geographical position. It is considered to be the heart of the European freight corridor between Rotterdam and Genoa.

Following the damage in the east tunnel of Rastatt Tunnel, preparations to renovate have been underway since March 2018. On April 11, 2019, DB Netz AG concluded an agreement with ARGE Tunnel Rastatt (consortium) on the planning of the renovation and completion of the damaged east tunnel. On August 7, 2019, the concept for the further construction of the Rastatt Tunnel was presented.

In the sections south of Offenburg, planning is proceeding according to the decisions of the German Bundestag and the Landtag (state parliament) of Baden-­Württemberg, to fi­nance noise remediation measures above the statutory level. The key requirements of the region, as discussed in the meetings of the project advisory board, are being integrated into the planning.

In section 7, between Appenweier and Kenzingen, a four-­track line spanning about 40 km is being completely re­planned. Several early public participations are planned for 2020. In section 8a (Freiburg freight bypass), the first discussion took place in the year under review, taking into account the new general framework for noise remediation. The planning for the upgrade of Freiburg Bay to 200 km/h (Section 8b) will take off after the contract has been awarded to the general planner. This part of the project is planned according to the BIM method. A civil dialogue with an architect’s workshop on the design of noise protection barriers was organized in section 9, the results of which will come into effect from 2020.

Hanau — Fulda expansion/new construction line

The existing capacity bottleneck between Hanau and Fulda is to be eliminated with the Hanau — Würzburg/Fulda expansion/new construction line. Journey times should also be reduced. The line is one of the most heavily travelled in Germany.

The project has made progress in planning for the Hanau — Gelnhausen expansion line and the Gelnhausen — Fulda new construction line. Preparatory measures for the expansion, such as the electronic interlocking at Gelnhausen and bridge construction work, will soon begin. Additional measures were developed with the region – for example for noise remediation and accessibility – and were handed over to the BMVI for parliamentary referral.

From over 1,000 line segments examined, 13 variants were mapped out, compared and discussed in a forum with region-al interest groups for the train-­path selection for the new construction line. Our early and comprehensive involvement of the general public has been described as exemplary. The so-­called version IV was the version submitted to the regional planning process. Among other things, it could shorten the passenger transport journey time between Frankfurt and Fulda, improve local transport services and reduce the noise caused by train transport in the region.

Rhine/Main — Rhine/Neckar new construction line

The Rhine/Main — Rhine/Neckar corridor has one of the largest traffic volumes in Germany. A new double-­track line is being planned between Frankfurt and Mannheim, which will be used in the future by long-­distance passenger transport during the day and by freight transport at night. The line should remove the existing bottleneck, increase capacity and shorten travel time between Frankfurt and Mannheim. In 2016 we resumed planning, which has since been accompanied by a participation process. At present, the various route and connection variants are being examined.

Construction of new S4 from Hamburg to Bad Oldesloe

The expansion of the S-­Bahn (metro) line 4 will help to strengthen local transport between Hamburg and Schleswig-­Holstein, and to improve the quality of long-­distance and freight transport. The legal procedures are currently underway for all three plan approval sections. The overall completion is aimed for before commissioning of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link. The framework agreement on the overall project financing was signed on November 29, 2019, by the BMVI, the Federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-­Holstein, as well as DB Netz AG.

Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link

The Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link project is in the design and approval planning stage. The approval documents for the plan approval sections were submitted to the EBA. The first public disclosures should be made in 2020.

A referral to the German Bundestag was prepared in parallel with the approval procedures. A report on the result of the preliminary planning, including the demands from the early public participation, was submitted on April 12, 2019, to the BMVI and forwarded to the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure on June 21, 2019.

Construction of a new link across the Fehmarn Sound is also being realized in connection with the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link. The decision in favor of a preferred variant will probably be made in the first quarter of 2020.


The Rhine-­Ruhr metropolitan region is to be more closely connected by the Rhine-­Ruhr-­Express (RRX). The implementation of this transport concept, as well as the operation of further local public transport links and long-­distance transport, require the extensive upgrading and conversion of the track infrastructure. The project is divided into a total of 15 plan approval sections.

For the plan approval section 3.2, Duisburg, and 3.0a, Düsseldorf airport, the plan approval documents were revealed in September and October 2019. The design planning for the plan approval section 2.0, Düsseldorf-­Reisholz and Düsseldorf-­Benrath, is currently being tendered. Construction work on plan approval section 4.0 Mülheim has begun. For the plan approval section 1.2, Leverkusen, and section 1.3, Langenfeld, the complaints against the plan approval decisions were withdrawn.

This means that a construction permit is now available for 6 out of 15 plan approval sections. Construction work in Lever­kusen and Langenfeld is currently being prepared and construction is planned for the beginning of 2020.

Expansion and electrification of the Hochrhein railway Basel — Erzingen

With the electrification of the Hochrhein line between Basel Badischer station and Erzingen (Baden), an important gap is closed for the electrical traction between Basel and Schaffhausen (Switzerland). The current “diesel island” can be elim­­­inated by electrification of this section of the route. This means that continuous transport between Basel Badischer station and Singen (Hohentwiel) will be possible with electrical instead of diesel vehicles in future.

A traffic task (verkehrliche Aufgabenstellung; VAST) was created for the new operating program up to May 2019. Addi­tional infrastructure measures are required to implement this desired schedule for the Nahverkersgesellschaft Baden-­Württemberg (local transport company).

In addition, the expansion of the stations to 155 m length and 55 cm platform height, as well as securing accessibility and the construction of three additional stops, will be included in the project.

The addendum to the planning agreement was agreed. The drawing was carried out on September 30, 2019.

Expansion and electrification of the Bodensee Belt railway

As part of the electrification of the Southern railway, the Bodensee Belt railway is to be expanded and electrified in the Radolfzell and Friedrichshafen section, as well as Stah­ringen and Stockach-­Hindelwangen.

The planning agreement for the service phases 1 and 2 was drawn up in January 2019.

Currently, service phase 1 is in planning. An operating pro­­­gram study is currently being prepared, and a VAST and oper­ational task (BAST) will follow. The preplanning will then be put out to tender.

Mannheim hub

The requirement plan project Mannheim hub includes several measures to resolve the bottlenecks in the greater Mannheim area.

In November 2018, the BMVI upgraded the Mannheim hub project from potential to urgent requirement. However, not all bottlenecks were able to be solved, in the event of a scarce benefit/cost ratio, with the configuration of measures from the Mannheim hub study. For this reason, the BMVI is providing even more optimization requirements. This is currently being investigated as part of an optimization study. Potential large-­scale bypass variants should also be tested. The BMVI will involve the affected Federal states, the region and DB Netz AG in the preparation of the study. The result of the optimization study is the determination of an expansion requirement that meets traffic and national economic objectives. Based on this, the scope of planning required for the Mannheim railway hub and the first planning services will be tendered out. DB Netz AG will then examine and evaluate any possible variants as part of the planning process, and determine a preferred solution. However, from a previous assessment of the Mannheim hub, planning for the four-­track expansion of the Heidel­­berg-­Wieblingen — Heidelberg Central Station section is already underway. The preplanning has been awarded. The basic evaluation should be completed by February 2020.

Mannheim — Karlsruhe expansion/new construction line

In a joint meeting, the BMVI and DB Netz AG agreed to expand the area of investigation of the Molzau — Graben-­Neudorf — Karlsruhe expansion/new construction line further to the north and to run it in the future under the Mannheim — Karls­ruhe expansion/new construction line project. Since the be­ginning of September 2019, the first planning services have been announced as part of a feasibility study and are expected to be awarded by the beginning of 2020.

In the analyses, basic possibilities for increasing the capa­city in passenger and freight transport are being developed for the expansion of the existing lines, as well as possible new construction lines with connection to the Mannheim and Karlsruhe railway hubs. However, a preferred variant can only be selected if the possible solutions for the entire connection between Mannheim (including the Mannheim railway hub) and Karlsruhe have been examined.

Three track expansions of Karlsruhe — Durmersheim

The requirement plan for the three-­track expansion of Karls­ruhe —Durmersheim is intended to create additional capacity south of Karlsruhe. A feasibility study was completed in June 2019, which serves as a basis for the preparation of the oper­ational tasks.

Relocation of the Hamburg-­Altona long-­distance train station

The measure provides for the replacement of the existing Hamburg-Altona terminal station with a new building at the Diebsteich location for long-­distance and regional transport, including a new concourse building. The current S-­Bahn (metro) station in Altona will remain. The new station will have six long-­distance and two S-­Bahn (metro) tracks.

In December 2017, the EBA issued the plan approval decision, but the German Transport Association Region North (Verkehrsclub Deutschland Landesverband Nord e. V.; VCD) launched a complaint. This resulted in an order requiring the project to stop construction.

However, at the initiative of the city of Hamburg, DB Group and the VCD showed that they were ready to carry out a “fact check” together in the course of the year under review, in which arguments for and against a station relocation were exchanged, moderated by the Hamburg Finance Senator.

In the course of the fact check, an approximation was recorded, which resulted in a concluding joint declaration on February 11, 2020. Within this, capacitive improvements in the project and a future joint discussion forum were agreed. In return, it is now recorded in the court that the VCD will withdraw its complaint as soon as the newly elected citizenship, after the election on February 23, 2020, formally approves the agreement. No legal proceedings in Altona would be pending anymore, the construction stoppage would be lifted and the preparation for construction could be resumed

Remodeling and modernization of Frankfurt central station

From the middle of 2020, the feeder level and the northern section at Frankfurt central station will be remodeled and modernized. As well as new access points, visitors can also expect a newly structured underground shopping passage in the future. The construction permit was approved by the EBA at the beginning of January 2019. It is being built in several construction phases. The work is planned to conclude at the end of 2024.

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