JUST BEFORE he left the post of Transport Minister in the German government (p626), Heinz Münterfering ruled that the Hamburg - Berlin Transrapid maglev project was to be built initially using a single track (RG 6.99 p346), with provision made for vehicles to pass - presumably a reference to a series of passing loops along the 290 km alignment. The September 16 statement said that this would allow the government to keep within its budgeted spend of DM6·1bn.

German Railway welcomed the government’s announcement and in its own statement made clear that the maglev line could be doubled at a later stage. It said that it would immediately begin consultations to determine the requirements for operation of a single track route.

Meanwhile the three-car TR08 maglev vehicle has been delivered to the Emsland guideway for trials (above) after assembly by Adtranz in Kassel. One section had earlier been assembled for trial purposes at the Alusuisse Airex works in Sins, Switzerland.