After over a year of protests, the residents of the state of Baden-W√ľrttemberg will be voting tomorrow in a referendum on the future of the main station in Stuttgart.
The project, called “Stuttgart 21″, plans to demolish part of the station and take the railway lines underground.¬† The so-called “Kopfbahnhof”, a station where the tracks end and trains go in and out of, would then become a “Durchgangsbahnhof”, where tracks and trains run through from one side to the other, resulting in a number of changes to the rail network in the area.
A year ago, the politicians were saying that the project had been decided on in a long planning process, and that nothing could be changed.¬† Then there was a conciliation process (“Schlichtung”) where alternatives where looked at, and apart from the railway being required to prove that the new station would really bring a benefit to the network, not much changed.
However after the local elections in March of this year, the political situation in Baden-W√ľrttemberg changed considerably, when the CDU/FDP coalition, who had been in favour of the project lost such a large share of the vote, that a new Green/SPD coalition was formed to take control of the local parliament. (more…)