• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Baden-Württemberg ordered ghost trains to aid Stuttgart project

DDP/The Local · 15 Aug 2010, 13:57

Published: 15 Aug 2010 13:57 GMT+02:00

This €4.1 billion rebuilding project involving the historic Stuttgart central station attracted tens of thousands of protesters over the weekend.

Now it is claimed in Der Spiegel magazine that the state of Baden-Württemberg agreed to pay for ten years of not-yet-finished railways in order to plug a hole in Deutsche Bahn’s finances – so it could continue with the Stuttgart 21 plan.

A report written in 1999 revealed the 344 million Deutsche marks (around €172 million) gap in the financing for the project, Der Spiegel reported. Yet it was seen as crucial for the project to go ahead, joining the station to a 32-km tunnel as well as a new connection to Ulm.

But it could only be financed if Baden-Württemberg agreed to finance new regional rail traffic, some of which would only be used after completion of the Stuttgart 21 project.

The magazine quoted from the draft contract between Deutsche Bahn and Baden-Württemberg which specifies that the state would, in 2001, order the provision of 1.45 million train-kilometres which would be introduced after the completion of Stuttgart 21.

This would cost around seven euros a kilometre, amounting to around €10 million. An order for new trains to the amount of DM200 million (€100m) came on top of this. The contract was slightly altered in 2001 and signed, and is valid until 2016, the magazine reported.

Deutsche Bahn has said there was no immediate connection between the contract and Stuttgart 21, adding that such a deal would be illegal.

Baden-Württemberg has admitted a connection between the orders placed with Deutsche Bahn and Stuttgart 21, but said that it was not only done in order to improve the economic viability of the project.

Story continues below…

A spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg state Transport Ministry said the agreement was discussed openly and intensively at the time and it was considered a good idea to kill two birds with one stone – to increase rail transport in the state as well improve the economic viability of the Stuttgart 21 project.

The then Baden-Württemberg state Transport Minister Ulrich Müller has rejected any improper connection between the two factors, being quoted in Der Spiegel saying he got what was best for the state.

A state spokesman said that Müller’s deputy at the time Stefan Mappus, who is now state premier, had little to do with the deal, only taking part in the final negotiations, not the months-long preparatory discussions.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

08:22 August 16, 2010 by William Thirteen
In Ulm, um Ulm, und rund um Ulm herum!
Today's headlines
Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,548
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd