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Stuttgart 21 rail project approved despite soaring costs

DDP/The Local · 10 Dec 2009, 14:08

Published: 10 Dec 2009 14:08 GMT+01:00

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State, municipal and Deutsche Bahn representatives decided to go ahead with “Stuttgart 21,” the massive overhaul of the southwestern German city’s main train station, on the basis of a new cost projection of €4.09 billion – more than €1 billion above the original price.

The huge undertaking, which will build a spacey underground train terminal and modernise the surrounding rail infrastructure, could have been torpedoed this year had it been expected to cost more than €4.5 billion.

Officials will now have a mere €438 million to cover the unforeseen expenses of what will be one of Europe’s biggest construction projects, transforming 100 hectares of central Stuttgart and digging 57 kilometres of tunnels.

The project has been widely criticised because it will tear up central Stuttgart for more than a decade and demolish parts of the city’s old landmark train station built by architect Paul Bonatz in 1928. But its supporters argue it will make the city an important rail link between Eastern and Western Europe.

Construction is expected to begin in February.

Story continues below…

Click here for a photo gallery of Stuttgart 21.

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DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:26 December 10, 2009 by pepsionice
Imagine your town torn up for a decade....and how miserable businesses downtown will be about this. They will come to regret this greatly. As for the money.....you can already plan 10 billion Euro at the end....and then wonder where they come up with this money to complete the project. The answer? From the rest of the state. Watch every construction project outside of Stuttgart shut down in five years....as they try to pay off this project.
00:48 December 11, 2009 by Logic Guy
Well, it's a bit surprising that someone, or a groupe of wise individuals didn't come forward and say "It would be a wonderful thing, if it didn't cost so much and lead to such traffic headaches".

Surely there are many clear thinking Germans. Where are they?

Step forward because your country needs you.
09:28 December 11, 2009 by expat05
There was actually a very well-organized movement in opposition to this project. Apparently their concerns were trumped by the powerful business interests in this city. Stuttgart already has arguably the worst traffic in Germany. The downtown area is surrounded on three sides by large hills and there are only a few ways in and out. This will create a 10-year nightmare that we are not looking forward to.
12:01 December 11, 2009 by airborne1092
Wow - I hope that is an abstract because they had nother else to print for the story. That thing looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright abortion!

Traffic in Stuttgart is terrible, as Expat05 indicated and I'm not sure a ten year project and a new rail station is the answer. This certainly smells like a boondoggle to me.
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