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Bahn fails to get extra billion for Stuttgart 21

The Local · 5 Feb 2013, 07:20

Published: 05 Feb 2013 07:20 GMT+01:00

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The national railway operator said last December that the planned travel hub – which would see 57 kilometres of new track and the rebuilding of Stuttgart's main train station underground – was going to cost more than the original budget of €4.5 billion.

The federal government has rejected the request for cash and according to internal documents seen by regional paper the Stuttgarter Zeitung, said that it believed the project would not be finished until 2024, despite Deutsche Bahn's claim it would be operational in 2020.

The documents, which came from the Transport Ministry, said the government saw “at this point no overlying reason” for agreeing to give Deutsche Bahn the €1.1 billion to bump up the budget to the €5.6 billion now said to be necessary. The project is in any case already largely funded by the government, which owns Deutsche Bahn.

“The arguments not to reject further financing are weak,” it added. Deutsche Bahn executives are thought to have told the project's advisory board about the lack of cash not only too late, but also inaccurately.

This is one of the reasons that the government has chosen to reject the next payout, as it could be, it believes, the first of many.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:45 February 5, 2013 by pepsionice
Somewhere around 2016, there will be this discovery of things gone wrong, and the new finish-date will be announced to be 2026. Around 2020, it'll be extended to 2028. And finally, around 2029, it'll be announced to be 2031. People will whine about this, but frankly, this is becoming the norm throughout Germany. You sign up to do major projects, and then have whiz-kid engineers who pretend to know project management. The old dinosaurs have gone and left.....who kept tight control and asked stupid questions every day. You just don't have great management at massive projects anymore.
11:32 February 5, 2013 by TheWonderer
I am glad they are willing to stop Oettingers Taj Mahal now...

Eventhough everybody knows you cannot EXACTLY forecast cost of big projects and there will be cost increases, in this case they deceived the public but stating it was the best planned project ever etc. to cheat everybody into accepting it.\

Now even before the real start (current measures are just preparatory work) massive flaws come to light every week... Besides, the way how the exercised power against protestors (by police action court held illegal in the mean-time) is a shame for a democratic state.

Shame on you, Oettinger/Mappus/Kefer/Schuster/... for intentionally breaking the law and the oath you gave to the people.

13:09 February 5, 2013 by twisted
Given the massive projects in Hamburg and Berlin, this certainly is no surprise. I agree with TheWonderer above.
16:53 February 5, 2013 by nemo999
Maybe this is the money that they are going to throw at the new airport in Berlin.
10:52 February 6, 2013 by frankiep
Having lived and worked in Germany for a while now I have had the chance to work on my different projects. One thing that always stands out for me on these projects is the seeming inability or unwillingness of German project leaders to deviate from the original plan. So if things are not going well, or if unforeseen problems pop up (which always happens on every project), the first and only response is to just stick to the plan. In these situations the project leaders I have seen here very seldom, if ever, admit that the plans need to be changed because doing so would mean they would have to admit that they made a mistake - which is something that is just not acceptable. Instead they ask for more time and more money while continuing to do the same fundamental things which got them in the difficult position in the first place.

That being said, I completely agree that the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof needs to be replaced as it is a total dump and IMO an embarrassment to a city with so much wealth and influence.
13:21 February 6, 2013 by JDee
@frankiep, you are correct the Hbf is a bit of a dump, pigeons allowed to live there and poo everywhere, unmaintained floor surfaces and leaking guttering etc.. but this is all relatively cheap and easy stuff to correct, it certainly isn't a reason to need S21. The fact that DB have sinically neglected the maintenance speaks volumes about their attitude... but old train stations can be quite lovely when looked after. When I go to the UK it's a total pleasure to go St. Pancras and Moor St. in Birmingham, both of which were renovated and improved based on the existing track layouts and buildings. Hopefully they will now do this in Stuttgart.
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