Development of the infrastructure
About € 170 billion is expected to be invested in track infrastructure from 2020 to 2030. Most of this comes from the LuFV and the requirement plan. Further measures are also being implemented as part of the Climate Action Program, DSD, GVFG and Structural Reinforcement Act for Mining Regions, or with respect to noise remediation and maintenance. 1 Infrastructure upgrade To the Strong Rail strategy 2 Digitale Schiene Deutschland To the Strong Rail strategy
In 2020, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on construction projects was kept to a minimum by means of effective crisis management. Due to close monitoring and targeted countermeasures, any faults that occurred could be resolved quickly in conjunction with the construction industry, so that no commissioning dates had to be postponed.
In 2020, more than € 12 billion was invested in renewing and maintaining the network, stations and energy facilities. This includes LuFV funds (grants and DB investment funds) of € 5.5 billion and € 2.6 billion for maintenance. In addition, 171 major projects were in planning and construction. Construction started on a further 57 projects.
After about two years of construction work, the system for transferring freight from trains to trucks at the Lehrte MegaHub site began on June 15, 2020. Since then, load 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 load units are lifted straight from the train onto the truck. This efficient working method saves time and energy compared with maneuvering the wagons, and also reduces noise exposure.
Expansion line 48 Munich—Lindau
In 2020, construction work was focused on the two-track section of the Weißensberg — Lindau line, the completion of the electrical systems for traction current supply, active soundproofing measures and other infrastructure disciplines. The overhead line was activated/commissioned on September 1, 2020. The commissioning deadline of December 13, 2020 was met.
ETCS on subsection of the Berlin—Dresden
In December 2020, ETCS was commissioned on an about 70-kmlong subsection of the Berlin — Dresden line. The commissioning of the Dresden railway in late 2025 and the second construction stage of the Berlin — Dresden expansion line in late 2028 will enable a target travel time between Berlin central station and Dresden central station of 80 minutes.
New electronic interlocking in the Köthen Hub
In April 2020, new electronic interlockings were commissioned in Köthen and Stumsdorf. Köthen station and the Köthen — Zöberitz line section also gained newly constructed facilities such as tracks, switches and overhead wires. DB Group and the Federal Government have invested about € 120 million in these measures.
Leipzig—Dresden Expansion Line (German Unification Transport Project No. 9)
In May 2020, the Dresden — Elsterwerda — Kötzschenbroda (“DEK”) curve was commissioned after more than two years of construction. This involved the renewal of the rail embankment, the construction of a new rail viaduct, the fitting of a junction with a new superstructure, and the building of modern command and control technology, including new electronic interlockings.
Further progress has been made on the construction work for the Stuttgart 21 sub-project (to be commissioned in late 2025):
- With a length of more than 51 km, more than 87 % of the tunnels for Stuttgart 21 have been bored and excavated. Virtually all tunnel boring work in the Stuttgart basin has been completed.
- During the construction of the future central station, 13 full chalices, five supporting chalices (Restkelche) and a total of 20 chalice feet have been concreted.
- The inner shell has been installed in the Filder tunnel, Feuerbach tunnel, Bad Cannstatt tunnel, S-Bahn (metro) tunnel and Untertürkheim tunnel.
- Following the final ruling by the German Federal Administrative Court, the main construction work has started on the airport link. Both bores of the tunnel have already passed under the A8 Federal highway.
- Wendlingen — Ulm new construction line (to be commissioned in late 2022):
- A total of 62 km of tunnel boring has been completed.
- The tunnel structures are in the process of being gradually handed over to the ballastless slab track phase and railway engineering.
- The superstructure for construction of the Filstal bridge toward Munich has been completed. Five out of ten cycles for the bridge construction superstructure toward Stuttgart were completed by the end of 2020.
- The railway engineering and construction of the ballastless slab tracks on the section between Ulm and the Albvorland tunnel are still underway. By the end of 2020, ballastless slab tracks had been installed over more than 30 kilometers of line. Installation of the overhead line has begun at Ulm.
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, Kalk West and on the Cologne — Dellbrück line as far as Bergisch Gladbach. Preliminary planning is complete for the supplementary package for the S11 (including the extension of the Erft railway). In the expansion line 4 Cologne — Aachen project, the work at Eschweiler station (to be commissioned in July 2020) and Aachen — Rothe Erde (to be commissioned in December 2021) are still in the implementation phase.
Oldenburg―Wilhelmshaven expansion line
Since 2011, the two-track expansion and electrification of the Oldenburg — Wilhelmshaven line in order to ensure a high-performance development for the deep-water port of Jade-WeserPort has been carried out in several construction stages. Some progress was made in 2020. For example, the Varel —Sande section was completed in March 2020 and the Sande —Wilhelmshaven section in April 2020. Electronic interlocking outposts Sande and Wilhelmshaven were commissioned on March 9, 2020. Since then, the entire Oldenburg — Wilhelmshaven line has been managed electronically. After the German Federal Administrative Court rejected the emergency appeals of the plan approval decision for plan approval section 1 (Oldenburg — Rastede) in December 2019, the work in the Oldenburg urban area was stepped up in early January 2020.
Following the commissioning of the S-Bahn (metro) Gateway Gardens link in late 2019, work on the Homburger Damm project near the central station has entered its final stage (commissioning scheduled for late 2021). Preliminary work has also already begun on the Stadion hub and Northern Main S-Bahn (metro) projects. In the Stadion project, the consultation process for the second stage of construction is complete and the EBA can now draw up the plan approval decision.
Meanwhile, the feasibility study for the new Frankfurt long-distance rail tunnel is now underway (completion scheduled for the first half of 2021). In the four-track expansion of the Main-Weser railway, the first stage of construction work is moving forward. The first section of track has been in operation since the summer of 2020.
The last open plan approval decision for the Blankenfelde — Mahlow section was made final in March 2020. This means that the main construction works are currently underway in all sections. In June 2020, as part of a six-week complete closure of the S2 (South) S-Bahn (metro) line, new track systems and two new railway viaducts were commissioned.
Karlsruhe — Basel
In the sections south of Offenburg, planning is proceeding according to the decisions of the German Parliament and the 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. The early public participation in the Offenburg tunnel – the largest single structure in the project – took place in late July 2020. In line section 8A (Freiburg freight bypass), the first discussion for plan approval section 8.1 took place in 2019, taking into account the new general framework for noise remediation. The official procedure is also currently underway for plan approval sections 8.0 and 8.2 to 8.4. 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 being planned using the BIM method.
In line section 9, a civil dialogue was held in Auggen, the results of which have been implemented since 2020. A further civil dialogue was held in Müllheim under Covid-19 restrictions. The results are being coordinated with the municipalities. The construction measures in plan approval sections 9.0 and 9.2 are also continuing. After multiple delays on the Swiss side, plan approval section 9.3 was granted final planning approval in January 2021 and construction work can now be carried out on that basis, albeit later than scheduled.
Leipzig — Dresden expansion line (German unification transport No. 9)
The Zeithain — Leckwitz section will be expanded for speeds of up to 200 km/h in the coming years to shorten journey times. Preparatory construction measures for the construction of a central trench have been underway since August 2020, at times requiring complete closure of the section. The first main construction phase begins in September 2021, requiring the closure of one half of the section. All other construction phases up to the scheduled final commissioning with ETCS in 2026 can take place with services running.
Nuremberg — Ebensfeld expansion line
Construction phase 23 Hallstadt — Breitengüßbach is part of the Nuremberg — Ebensfeld expansion line (German Unification Transport Project No. 8.1 (Verkehrsprojekte Deutsche Einheit; VDE)). An electronic interlocking external unit was set up in Breitengüßbach with the signaling technology of the expansion section integrated into it. Noise barriers and sound-absorbing walls are being set up along 5 km of trainpath, along with central barriers between the tracks in places. Furthermore, the construction phase includes the building of two new railway viaducts. At the Hallstadt stop, the center platform is being redesigned for accessibility.
Four-track expansion work is underway over 34 km of line, from Forchheim to Strullendorf south of Bamberg, with completion scheduled for 2025. Legal approval proceedings are underway for the section from Eggolsheim to the southern city limits of Bamberg.
The final commissioning of the inner hub in Halle took place in January 2021. This includes passenger transport facilities (such as platforms) and the accessible underpass. The work on the Halle outer hub (September 2020 to 2024) concludes the overall project. The goal in the Halle-Rosengarten and Halle-Angersdorf construction phases is to increase the line speed on the Halle — Kassel line to 120 km/h. Storage facilities are also being created to reduce the burden on the Halle (Saale) marshaling yard and central station, railway viaducts and pedestrian and cycle underpasses are being renewed, and improvements are being made to the Halle-Rosengar - ten stop. About 3 km of noise remediation barriers are being installed to protect residents. In the Halle-Angersdorf area, a new electronic interlocking is being set up, the command and control technology is being updated and transport facilities that are no longer needed are being dismantled.
Hanau—Fulda expansion and new construction line
In the Hanau — Würzburg/Fulda expansion/new construction line project, progress has been made on the plans for the Hanau — Gelnhausen expansion line as well for the Gelnhausen — Fulda new construction line. In the case of the expansion line, preliminary work has started on the Gelnhausen electronic interlocking and bridge construction work. Design planning for the four-track expansion between Hanau and Gelnhausen has started and the planning change for the Hailer — Merholz section should be submitted in 2021. The German Parliament has decided to finance those noise remediation and accessibility measures that are not covered by legislation.
The regional planning process for the new construction line has begun. A total of 350 statements have been submitted. This relatively small number is due to intensive public participation proceedings spanning several years.
Fulda—Gerstungen expansion and new construction line
The train-paths for the Fulda — Gerstungen expansion/new construction line project have been presented following the early public participation process. The preferred option should be identified as early as the end of 2021 so that the regional planning process can then be formally initiated.
Rhine/Main—Rhine/Neckar new constrcution line
The preferred option for the line between Zeppelinheim and Mannheim-Waldhof was presented in November 2020. Proposals from members of the Rhine/Main — Rhine/Neckar participation forum were examined along with ten options with regard to environmental (including human protection), transport and economic aspects with a total of 40 evaluation criteria. The line should remove the existing bottleneck, increase capacity and shorten travel time between Frankfurt and Mannheim.
Dresden — Prague new construction line
On December 16, 2019, Správa železnic signed a planning agreement for cooperation with DB Netz AG and DB Energie GmbH in the joint planning area for the Dresden — Prague new construction line. In March 2020, the BMVI, the Czech transport ministry, the Free State of Saxony, DB Group and Správa železnic confirmed their collaboration in a joint declaration.
The regional planning process was initiated with the handover of the regional planning assessment on August 21, 2020, and preliminary planning has begun. Several options have been drawn up for this purpose within the corridors that have been confirmed as regionally acceptable by the regional administration.
Dresden ― Görlitz expansion line
The preliminary planning for the electrification and demandbased expansion of the Dresden — Görlitz line commissioned and financed by the Free State of Saxony is largely complete. In 2021, a regional planning process for the traction current line will be conducted. The inclusion of the project in the Structural Reinforcement agenda is expected to require the content of certain projects to be adapted on the basis of new transport assumptions.
Leipzig ― Chemnitz expansion line
Comprehensive expansion and electrification measures are planned between Leipzig and Chemnitz. This will enable shorter journey times, long-distance transport options and climate-friendly mobility. The Leipzig — Geithain section has been a component of the Structural Reinforcement 4 since July 2020. The Free State of Saxony has so far been financing parts of the preliminary planning. For the Geithain — Chemnitz section, options are currently being investigated to finance a two-track expansion of some sections. The Federal Government’s planning contract only covers the electrification of the line. Preliminary planning for the Geithain — Chemnitz section is expected to be completed in 2022.
The plan approval decision for the preponed measures was issued in June 2020. This includes the extension of two platforms and the construction of an electronic interlocking. The planning change for the overall work was submitted to the EBA in the first quarter of 2020. A consultation and discussion have been announced for 2021.
Construction of the new S-Bahn (metro) line S4 from Hamburg nach Bad Oldesloe
The expansion of the S4 line will help to strengthen local transport between Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, and to improve the quality of long-distance and freight transport. The plan approval decision for plan approval section 1 was delivered in late August 2020. The legal procedures for the two other plan approval sections have been underway since 2017. For plan approval section 2, the consultation on the supporting documents was held in late 2019. The public hearing will take place as an online consultation in the first quarter of 2021. The consultation on the plan approval documents for plan approval section 3 is scheduled to take place during the same period. 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. The preparatory measures began in November 2020 after all expedited legal proceedings were rejected.
Fehmarn belt fixed link
The Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link is currently in the design and approval planning stage for all ten plan approval sections. A public consultation on the supporting documents for the first section (Fehmarn) has been held. There were some 250 objections, which are currently being processed.
Preliminary planning for the Fehmarn Sound Fixed link was completed in late 2020. In spring 2020, a new immersed tunnel was identified as the preferred option from four potential solutions, preserving the existing bridge for slow road traffic.
The BMVI has included the Fehmarn Sound Fixed link in the notes to its parliamentary consultation report. On July 2, 2020, the German Parliament decided to make € 232 million available for measures over and above the statutory level as requested by the region. In particular, core requirements with respect to noise remediation, protection from vibrations and the course of the routes were authorized. The approved core requirements will be incorporated into the necessary plan approval and amendment procedures.
A construction permit is now available for a total of seven out of 15 plan approval sections. Public hearings on plan approval sections 3.2, 3.3 (Duisburg) and 3.0a (Düsseldorf airport) were held in 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).
Expansion line 46/2 (Emmerich — Oberhausen)
Public hearings have been held for all plan approval sections. Meanwhile, five out of 12 plan approval decisions have now been issued, allowing construction to start little by little.
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 2021. Planning work for the three remaining projects is to be resumed.
Mannheim — Karlsruhe expansion and new construction line
The first planning services as part of a feasibility study have been in progress since the beginning of March 2020. This involves open-ended investigations to identify the appropriate route and assess the technical feasibility of possible largescale options for two additional tracks on the Baden Rhine Valley railway between Mannheim and Karlsruhe.
Relocation of the Hamburg-Altona long-distance and regional station
The construction stoppage was lifted in April 2020 with an out-of-court settlement. Preparations for construction have been continuing since October 2020. The main construction work will begin in 2021. Financing is secured. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is able to implement its urban development concept in the Diebsteich area. The official groundbreaking event will take place in June 2021. The motorail train system is also moving to a new location. The new station and motorail train system is scheduled for commissioning in 2027.
Reactivation of the Berlin Siemensbahn
On the site of the historic Siemensstadt district in Berlin, Siemens plans to build Siemensstadt 2.0 by 2030. The plan for the development of this new district of Berlin includes running the Siemensbahn once again on the historic route, a line that stretches about 4.5 km from Jungfernheide station to Gartenfeld. The line stopped operating in 1980. The financing agreement for service phases 2–4 was signed in 2020 by the state of Berlin. A feasibility study is currently underway for the extension of the Siemensbahn beyond Gartenfeld station, the results of which will be available in the first half of 2021.