GERMANY: Citing severe cost escalation, German Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee joined the President of Bayern Günther Beckstein at a meeting on March 27 to discuss the future of the proposed Transrapid link from Franz-Josef Strauss airport to München Hauptbahnhof (RG 10.07 p591).

The meeting concluded with an agreement to terminate the project on the grounds that the projected construction cost of €1·85bn, announced last September when the funding package was put in place, had already increased to more than €3bn.

A statement released by the Federal Transport Ministry explained that examination of the tunnelling and earthworks required had necessitated a near-doubling of the budget between the planning stage and the granting of final authorisation for work to proceed. An agreement to reduce the scope of the project to bring it back in line with the agreed funding limits could not be reached, it added.

Neither the Land nor the federal government are prepared to commit further funds to the project having already pledged €490m and €925m respectively. The 37 km line was to have been built as a joint venture between DB and the GSV consortium, which included Siemens, ThyssenKrupp, Hochtief, Max Bögl and Bilfinger Berger.