GERMANY: Hamburg Transport Senator Frank Horch and Hamburger Hochbahn Technical Director Jens-Günter Lang laid the foundation stone for a new workshop on October 12.

Due to open in early 2019, the €44m facility is being built east of the U2 and U4 line between Legienstraße and Billstedt stations. It will include a covered area 135 m long and 34 m wide with four tracks that can accommodate 120 m long trainsets. It will be able to handle the repair, maintenance and cleaning of up to 28 trainsets per day. A train washing plant is also being built.

The Billstedt workshop will join the main maintenance facility in Barmbek and a service workshop in Farmsen, which are reaching full capacity and cannot be enlarged.

‘Modernisation of public transport is imperative for mobility of the future’, said Horch. ‘This includes bus and rail as well as car-sharing, shuttle services and other innovative forms of mobility. An essential element is the expansion of the U-Bahn network.’

Hochbahn saw 232 million passenger-journeys last year, and this is forecast to grow by 3·5 million this year. Hochbahn plans to expand its fleet in the coming years to deal with the growing ridership, and to operate new lines and extensions. A one-station extension of Line U4 to Elbbrücken is due to open at the end of 2018, and plans are in place to extend the line to Horner Geest. Construction of a fifth metro route is also envisaged.