A TAPE cutting in the Land of Sachsen-Anhalt on December 18 marked the completion of the latest rail reunification project to be completed by Verkehrsprojekt Deutsche Einheit. The 113 km Stendal - Uelzen route was originally part of the so-called Amerikalinie between Berlin and Bremerhaven, carrying up to 64 trains a day. Following the partition of Germany, the cross-border section was abandoned, but DR continued to run local services between Stendal and Salzwedel. The line has been reinstated at a cost of DM1·5bn, of which the federal government provided 90%. It has been built as an electrified single track designed for a maximum speed of 160 km/h.
Local politicians have been lobbying for a through Hamburg - Berlin InterRegio service via Salzwedel, which could be significantly faster than the present IC service via Wittenberge, but at present DB is only providing a local service with poor connections at Stendal and Uelzen. DB is also planning to use the route to divert freight trains away from Hannover during the Expo 2000 world fair.