Angermünde - Szczecin start of work (Photo: DB/Volker Emersleben)

EUROPE: Work has begin on the first phase of a project to reduce the journey time between Berlin and the Polish city of Szczecin by 20 min to 90 min.

A ceremony on November 30 marked the start of work by Deutsche Bahn to upgrade the 19 km route between Angermünde and Passow. This will include renewal of the overhead electrification, raising the line speed to 160 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for freight, installing ETCS and facilitating the operation of longer trains.

Polish German border Angermünde - Szczecin (Photo: DB/Volker Emersleben)

The second stage of the project will involve double-tracking and electrifying the 30 km between Passow and the Polish border, and modernisation of the stations at Schönow, Casekow, Petershagen and Tantow. This will be undertaken from 2024, with Polish infrastructure manager PKP PLK modernising the 10 km from the border to Szczecin at the same time.

The federal government is providing €380m for the works in Germany, with the Länder of Berlin and Brandenburg each contributing a further €50m.

Ronald Pofalla, DB board member for Infrastructure, said rail enhancement does not stop at national borders, and the upgrading would offer faster journey times and close a gap in the trans-European freight network.