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Police remove hundreds of Stuttgart 21 protestors

DDP/DPA/The Local · 19 Aug 2010, 10:38

Published: 19 Aug 2010 10:38 GMT+02:00

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The protestors were physically removed with “direct force” after they failed to clear the entrance to the construction site to allow heavy machinery into the area, police said on Thursday.

While opponents said that some 1,000 demonstrators showed up to the site, police said they had counted about 500. After they were moved from the street, only 30 or 40 remained by 5am on Thursday, police said.

“It was a quiet night,” one officer said.

The incident followed last Friday’s much larger protest by about 20,000 people, who formed a human chain around the building before marching to city hall to demonstrate against the €4.1-billion project, which is set to revamp the historic station in the southwestern city.

Click here for a photo gallery of Stuttgart 21 plans.

Stuttgart 21 has been widely criticised because it will tear up the city centre for more than a decade and demolish parts of the landmark train station built by architect Paul Bonatz in 1928. Supporters argue it will make the city an important rail link between Eastern and Western Europe.

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The old terminal will be transformed into a spacey underground station where trains do not have to back out to continue their journey. Transforming 100 hectares of central Stuttgart and digging 57 kilometres of tunnels, it will be one of Europe’s biggest construction sites.

But there have been weeks of protests against ballooning costs and the destruction of part of the historic terminal building.

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Your comments about this article

13:27 August 19, 2010 by JDee
I'm confused, did this happen last Thursday ( the 12th August ) or last night Wednesday? I was there yesterday and saw some protestors setting up a tent thing over the entrance.

My comment, pathetic project, justification for project is irrational ( see below ), is really about re-modelling the city centre and opening up tracts of land to commerical and residential development. If energy costs increase dramatically due to increasing world wide fuel demand the project costs could spiral out of control and leave the train station and parts of the city centre wrecked. Stuttgart and the surrounding area is already saturated with empty office space. There are plenty of areas where the residential market is improving naturally or ex-commerical building could be converted or built-over.

I see the whole project as a poster-boy for 'old style' exploit, mine, build economics versus the new sustainalbe economics we need. We have a perfectly good train station, as much as I love Stuttgart, not that many people need to come here, it is not Berlin or Munich. Most of the air traffic is local tourists or commercial. Most of the firms ( and the Messe ) are not located in the city centre, but in the surrounding satellite towns. Not everyone lives in the city centre, just a lucky few, the idea that everyone will benefit from a 10 minute quicker connection between the airport and bahnhof is rubbish. I used to fly out of that airport, I live in the city centre, but it would still be quicker for me to take the old route, because the Hbf is in the opposite direction... so the 10 min gain will be cancelled out by the 15 min trip to the Hbf.. you can apply the same logic all over the city. The logic would only be correct if everyone lived in the train station! The current S-Bahn stops at various points and also joins conveniently with the rest of the network..

On the current time table trains go 10 mins, then 20 mins, then 10 mins and so on currently if you are aiming for a certain check-in time if you risk missing the 20 minute train, then you have to wait 20 mins for the next connection, so it is always safer to go for the 10 mins departure, if you miss that get the next one, then you're safe. If they could re-arrange the timetable to run regular trains say, every 12 mins or something then that would be a huge improvement.

The 2nd thing, at Stuttgart Airport you have to allow 40 mins for check-in, even though you can almost see the planes from the check-in desk.. it's about 2 mins walk. at Hamburg and Birmingham I believe business travellers have been able to do 20 mins check-ins. Making this change at the airport, could wipe 20 mins off for many passengers, not just those on the train, obviously only for planes bording directly at the terminal, ot maybe they need to improve the airport, but whatever it has to be better than spending billions on S21
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