“Sprinting in local traffic”
Baden-Württemberg spends billions on trains
05/09/2022, 4:53 p.m.
Both the federal government and the Länder want to strengthen local rail transport. Baden-Württemberg is already modernizing its fleet. 130 double-decker trains are to come from France.
The French group Alstom has won the contract to build 130 double-decker trains for regional transport in Baden-Württemberg. “No other federal state has so far placed an individual order of this magnitude for the ordering of regional trains,” explained the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport. The order is worth around 2.5 billion euros. Alstom is also responsible for maintenance for 30 years.
During the Europe-wide award procedure, “very high demands were made on the performance and technology of the vehicles”, emphasized Baden-Württemberg Transport Minister Winfried Hermann of the Greens. Thus, the four-part trains with two double-decker cars and two locomotives each offer 380 seats. The trains have lounges and seats, “powerful” air conditioning, power outlets and reading lights at the seats. The maximum speed of the trains is 200 kilometers per hour. “These trains are sprinters in local transport. We want to win a lot of extra passengers with them,” Hermann said.
According to the Stuttgart Ministry of Transport, the trains are to be put into operation from December 2025 – then the Stuttgart21 metro station is also to be opened. The country can order up to 100 trains. The construction project has long been in the headlines, in part because of soaring costs. The new trains will run on the lines to Karlsruhe, Pforzheim, Heilbronn, Schwäbisch Hall, Aalen, Friedrichshafen/Lindau, Tübingen, Horb/Rottweil and Ulm.
At the federal level, the nine-euro monthly ticket is intended to provide financial relief to citizens and at the same time to make local transport more attractive. The ticket should be valid for nine euros per month throughout the national territory in public transport for the period June, July and August. Countries want to make sure the ticket is available on June 1. However, Hermann expressed concern that “after the nice special offer” of the nine-euro note, prices could skyrocket. An expansion of public transport is also needed in view of the projected doubling of passenger numbers by 2030, he said.