Referendum backs Stuttgart 21
GERMANY: Controversial plans to rebuild Stuttgart’s main station look set to go ahead after 59% of voters approved the project in a referendum held by the Land of Baden-Württemberg on November 27. ‘The people have spoken’, said Baden-Württemberg Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann. ‘I accept the results, even if it does not conform to my wishes’.
Deutsche Bahn had ceased work on Stuttgart 21 earlier this year after a coalition of Kretschmann’s Green Party and the Social Democrats had come to power in Baden-Württemberg. The Greens have opposed the project to redevelop the historic Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, which has been the subject of vociferous and sometimes violent protest focused on the €7bn cost and environmental impact of the scheme.
DB envisages rebuilding the station on the same site 12 m below ground, with four through platforms that would avoid the need for trains to reverse at Stuttgart. Most of the historic main building would be retained, while other land including the approach tracks would be released for commercial and residential redevelopment.