Voting on the future of Stuttgart’s station

Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof - ©iStockphoto.com/AndreasWeber

After over a year of protests, the residents of the state of Baden-Württemberg 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-Württemberg 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. [Read more…]

Stuttgart 21

For the past few weeks, the German news has been full of reports about the “Stuttgart 21” project.

“Stuttgart 21” is the re-development of Stuttgart’s main station and the surrounding railway lines.  At present, Stuttgart is a “Kopfbahnhof”, meaning that it was built as a Terminus and the tracks end there.  Trains go in and out through the same entrance, consequently passengers in high-speed intercity trains change direction when the train stops there and train crews have to change ends to continue their journey.

It is not the only such station in Germany.  Frankfurt and Munich, for example, were built this way as well.

But now the station is to be transformed into a “Durchgangsbahnhof” – one where the tracks run through and out the other side.  This is said to save time, because the stops will be shorter – the train crews can stay where they are.

At the same time, new lines should improve connections to Paris and to Stuttgart’s airport. [Read more…]

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