Signalling the way forward in German rail

Key transport hubs in northern Germany are about to enter a new era of rail travel for goods and passengers, with rapid connections set to reduce travel times significantly and also encourage people to opt for environment-friendly transport.

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Some 60 kilometres of rail track will be constructed under the project, benefiting both business and the 2 000 000 or so individuals living in and around these hubs.

The fast-track way to connect neighbours

The main trigger for the project is that the existing rail infrastructure of the connection Berlin – Leipzig – Nurnberg – Munich is not expected to be able to handle the growing volumes of traffic in the future. The VDE 8.1 project is part of a larger-scale traffic project designed to improve connections between the main centres of Nurnberg – Erfurt – Leipzig/Halle – Berlin, with a high-speed track for sub-regional and international passenger and goods traffic. This will be a very important connection between southern and north-eastern Germany. The section of rail to be constructed under the project will cover 60.9 km between Ebensfeld and Erfurt. VDE 8.1 is also an integral part of the local rail network, which itself is part of Corridor 01 of the Trans-European Networks (covering Germany and Italy). In all, nine tunnels and ten bridges will be co-financed by the ERDF along with some 18 km of engineering structures.

Cutting travel time and pollution

The high-quality rail connection is designed to reach speeds of 300 km/hour for passenger rail traffic. As a result, one of the key benefits for travellers will be reduced travel times, in some cases 3-hour journeys will be reduced to 1 hour. The entire travel time from Munich to Berlin will also be lowered to about 4 hours. Accessibility in the northern hubs of the programme area will therefore be markedly improved. Furthermore, by using ‘rail’, the more environment-friendly transport option, instead of cars or aeroplanes, CO2 output and environmental pollution will be substantially cut.

Economic gains for the region

The primary beneficiaries of the new high-speed rail line will be the more than 2 000 000 inhabitants living around the project area. The transport of products and materials between Munich and Berlin will also be easier and faster. Finally, the project has spin-offs in terms of employment – during the implementation and operational phases of the project, a total of 1 895 jobs will be created, each lasting 8 years.


Draft date

24/01/2011