GERMANY: Electric services on the 19·3 km Elz valley line from Denzlingen to Elzach in Baden-Württemberg were launched on November 14, following the completion of work by DB to modernise and electrify the branch as the fifth and final phase of the Breisgau S-Bahn project.

There is an hourly service from Elzach through to Freiburg, increasing to half-hourly in the peaks, operated by SWEG using Alstom Talent 3 EMUs.

‘Electrification is an infrastructural milestone for Elzach and the Elz valley, and provides climate-friendly, sustainable and inexpensive transport for all people who live and work here’, said Mayor Roland Tibi.

Main works began in March 2020 and cost €68·6m, funded from both local and national sources. The project included installing 23 track-km of 15 kV 16·7 Hz overhead electrification, accessibility works at Waldkirch station, providing a passing loop at Gutach, rebuilding seven level crossings, modifying three overbridges and installing electronic interlockings in Waldkirch and Gutach.

Trains began using the upgraded route as far as Waldkirch in February, but completion of the section through to Elzach was delayed by problems with groundwater and heavy rain.