DB's high speed programme regains momentum
THE ANNOUNCEMENT on February 14 that German Railway is to proceed with the stalled Stuttgart 21 project and construction of a new high speed line over the 65 km between Wendlingen, southeast of Stuttgart, and Ulm suggests that it has managed to garner strong support for its programme of major investment projects. In this case the Land of Baden-Württemberg has agreed to fund the initial phase of work allowing the start date on the DM8bn scheme to be brought forward to 2004. This will require the Land to pay up to DM900m in interest and other payments before the federal government assumes financial responsibility for the project in 2011. The ambitious scheme will see Stuttgart's terminus replaced by an underground through station linked directly to the new line.
Further evidence that DB is entering another phase of major expenditure came with its decision to add to its substantial ICE fleet. It confirmed on February 16 that it would announce 'shortly' contracts for 13 more ICE3 trainsets worth DM500m for use on the K