ON SEPTEMBER 25 the regional government of Bayern reached an agreement to fund a €1·85bn maglev to link Franz Josef Strauss Airport with München Hauptbahnhof.

President of Bayern Edmund Stoiber announced the agreement in a national television address. The funding gap between the state and DB has been bridged by contributions from a number of sources, including the federal government and the EU. The line is to be built as a joint-venture between DB and the GSV consortium, which includes Siemens, ThyssenKrupp, Hochtief, Max Bögl and Bilfinger Berger.

Of the projected €1·85bn total construction cost, the German federal government is to provide €925m and the Land of Bayern will contribute an initial €490m. DB's total contribution is likely to reach €235m, while the airport authority has pledged €100m, much of which will come from the public sector since its two largest shareholders are the federal and Land governments. A further €50m will be forthcoming from the EU, which has already provided funding for the initial planning stages.

Stoiber joined his transport minister Erwin Huber in declaring the project a 'shining beacon' for German technology. Construction work on the 37 km line, which will partly follow the route of S-Bahn Line S1, is due to commence in summer 2008, with the first services projected to run in 2014. The Transrapid is expected to complete the journey from the airport to the city centre from 40 min at present to around 10 min.