Berlin Spandau station (Photo: Oliver Lang/Deutsche Bahn)

GERMANY: The Länder of Berlin and Brandenburg have signed an agreement with Deutsche Bahn to finance studies for a project to increase capacity on the 23 km Spandau – Nauen section of the Berlin – Hamburg corridor, including a proposed extension of the Berlin S-Bahn to Finkenkrug.

Around €23m has been made available for preliminary planning, including €7·3m from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

The project forms part of the capital region’s i2030 infrastructure programme.

The studies will consider the provision of extra tracks to enable an increase in regional and long distance services, including a half-hourly Berlin – Hamburg service, as well as remodelling to create additional capacity for long-distance services at Spandau station. It will also look at the feasibility of moving the S-Bahn underground in Spandau.

‘The traffic turnaround will only succeed if the offer on the railways convinces the customers’, said Ronald Pofalla, DB management board member for Infrastructure, on August 31. ‘To do this, we need attractive local transport connections, and this is exactly what the expansion of the line between Spandau and Nauen means: the trains will be more reliable and more frequent.’

Susanne Henckel, Managing Director of regional transport association VBB, said ‘i2030 is a showcase project, not just in Berlin and Brandenburg, but for all of Germany’. Despite the current temporary drop in passenger numbers ‘we are looking to the future. The traffic turnaround has not been cancelled’.