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Deutsche Bahn boss offers to delay Stuttgart 21 demolition work

The Local · 25 Aug 2011, 15:58

Published: 25 Aug 2011 15:58 GMT+02:00

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Rüdiger Grube told the Südeutsche Zeitung on Thursday that he could see holding off on the demolition of the south wing of the station until after the expected vote in November as long as "there are no financial or legal disadvantages for us and that the project will not be delayed any further."

He said he wanted a guarantee from Winfried Kretschmann, the state premier of Baden-Württemberg, to that effect.

Voters in the southwest German state go to the polls at the end of November to express their views on the controversial Stuttgart 21 project, which aims to turn the city into a major European rail link by moving the station underground.

A recent poll showed that more than half of the state's voters would okay the massive project, which is expected to cost at least €4 billion.

A spokeswoman said the government was interested in immediate discussions with Deutsche Bahn about how the construction plans would be carried out. The government has repeatedly said it did not want the firm to make any changes on the construction site that could not be rolled back.

Grube reiterated his rejection of a compromise plan that would involve a combined above- and below-ground station, cobbled together by the Stutgart 21 mediator Heiner Geissler at the end of July. The railway chief said that idea had been discussed at length in the early 1990s and rejected for good reasons.

But the Deutsche Bahn chief also admitted making mistakes. He said the Bahn would not undertake such a large project again without the express support of the population. "There shouldn't be a feeling that decisions are being made over people's heads," Grube told the newspaper.

Story continues below…

The rail project has been the centre of large-scale protests after a powerful grassroots movement developed against the plans last year. Rail operator Deutsche Bahn wants to replace Stuttgart's existing train station with an underground one that it says would greatly improve links between Paris, Vienna and ultimately Budapest.

DAPD/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:40 August 25, 2011 by Staticjumper
Pictures like this give some insight into the protest action against the new bahnhof. Front and center, prominently displayed is a gay rights / peace movement flag. Really? Is the new bahnhof designed for launching missiles or denying gay rights? It makes you wonder how many of the protesters are genuinely opposed to the project and how many are the regular protest-for-the-sake-of-protesting crowd.
17:03 August 25, 2011 by freechoice
places like this hold some sentimental values to some people
19:19 August 25, 2011 by neunElf
Excellent observation, Staticjumper!

As usual this merely another attempt by the professional anarchist crowd to stop the productive portion of society from going forward and doing what we do, creating wealth and opportunity!
12:23 August 26, 2011 by pepsionice
Watch this carefully folks.....this is the last major public works project in Germany. No one will risk any funding to replace any major infrastructure issue....because it'll just get drawn out into a public debate with false information spread by all sides.
13:26 August 26, 2011 by JDee
Staticjumper, neuenElf, what a pair of nasty biggots you are, you would have loved it here 80 years ago
09:59 August 28, 2011 by notelove2
I was present at a recent protest of Stuttgart 21. The protesters were all age groups and types, and were very serious. They do not want this to happen to their city. Power to the people!
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