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Stuttgart 21 rail project construction to restart

The Local · 10 Jun 2011, 17:16

Published: 10 Jun 2011 17:16 GMT+02:00

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The southwestern German state's new government, which is a centre-left coalition of Greens and Social Democrats, decided not ask for a longer building freeze at a meeting of Stuttgart 21 stakeholders on Friday.

The main reason is money: If the state government had demanded a further pause, it would have had to contribute to a fund to reimburse Deutsche Bahn for expenses the delay is causing.

Those would soar into the tens of millions of euros by the time a so-called “stress test” to probe the viability of the project is finished in July.

The government was hoping Deutsche Bahn would decide by itself to delay the project further, but the company confirmed Friday that construction would resume as soon as possible.

“We want to move up construction activities to next week,” said Deutsche Bahn infrastructure manager Volker Kefer.

Stuttgart 21 consists of a massive construction effort, involving rebuilding the city’s main train station underground and turning it around 90 degrees, as well as laying 57 kilometres of new tracks. The aim is to make the city a major European rail hub.

But opponents mounted massive protests against the project last year, calling it too expensive and unnecessary. In October, more than 100 demonstrators were injured in a violent clash with police.

The demonstration was followed by lengthy talks between state officials, national rail provider Deutsche Bahn and Stuttgart 21 opponents. But officials ultimately decided to go ahead with the project after making a few minor changes to plans.

Some believed the state’s new left-leaning government would more strongly challenge the project because the Greens opposed it before the the election, but they have so far failed to do so.

State officials have promised citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the future of the project, probably in the autumn.

Story continues below…

But backing out could cost the state government hundreds of millions of euros in compensation fees to Deutsche Bahn.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:54 June 10, 2011 by lwexcel
You know it really seems very unproductive to me when people get their funny signs and fancy slogans all made up and go out to have a protest. I feel this way because the deciding parties mostly make a final decision based on money. The cheapest option will always be chosen hence:

"backing out could cost the state government hundreds of millions of euros in compensation fees to Deutsche Bahn."

The option of delaying the project will cost the government the most money, therefore they will ultimately decide to move forward with the construction of the station. I am saying this because I do not believe that resorting to protests are creating an 'active concern' to the deciding parties. Boycotts however would definitely open the eyes to all of the deciding parties involved. If all of the people that were protesting simply put their efforts into not actively supporting consumption in their area I am positive that the government would definitely become more serious about considering whether this train station should be built or not.
23:57 June 10, 2011 by pepsionice
So, just to remind folks. This is the 'green' leadership of Stuttgart....that saddled up and is now riding with a full-up Stuttgart-21 agenda. Yes, they did a couple of small changes....which they will advertise far and wide....but basically, their advertisement to the public to help in winning the election? All bogus.

If I were the media....I'd certainly lay out the comical nature of this entire event. Stuttgart-21 is moving ahead....with Greens in charge. It really says alot about "saving" Stuttgart and the environment.
01:48 June 11, 2011 by olog-hai
No, delaying the project (who said it was inevitable?) is not what's going to cost Baden-Württemberg the most money; the cost overruns are what's going to do that (which was one of the issues behind stopping it). The people don't want or need this project; this is the dream of some central planner in Berlin who wants to draw new lines on the railway map. The people get steamrolled over again.
07:29 June 11, 2011 by freedom1776
At the next Protest of Stuttgart 21. All those who are violent or disorderly should be arrested and spend 10 days in jail, and be banned from using all: German City; and National; rail systems, for 10 years. They might eventually realize what they were missing; but only after they were forbidden to use it. These protestors are children in adult bodies they think History began when they were born. They are quite self centered, and many are just plain criminal street thugs.
08:49 June 11, 2011 by chinabctv
i've no idea about this.u know,Germany is a democratic country,but such things happened in it which makes it no difference like China.
09:36 June 11, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
now there's something the world hasn't seen before... a party breaking its election campaign promises once it's in power... if I recall correctly, much of the support for the Greens in the election stemmed from anti-Stuttgart21-sentiment which Kretschmann's party cleverly harnessed to drum up votes on election day. True, maybe he never said in so many words that he was going to end Stuttgart21... but now, what a big shock... it's a whole different ballgame and you can't just pull the plug on the project, more than that, Grün-Rot is taking quite a cowardly stand by simply "not asking for a longer building freeze" .

Almost calls to mind Konrad Adenauer's famous quote - "Was kümmert mich mein Geschwätz von gestern?" - what do I care what I said yesterday...
12:20 June 21, 2011 by Eastard
It is unfortunate that cities are developed for the benefit of the majority... most of whom may not live there... This is the present day reality of the populated world... Transportation and center city development are two of the biggest issues all cities all over the world are faced with.. It makes the most sense that if you live in a major city there will be major change in the next ten years.... Cities will not remain that same forever... Those wanting less development may consider living in a less developed place to avoid this... Protesting other than making a show is foolish and has not drawn public/world opinion to sympathy...
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