Due to technical problems with the Stuttgart 21 rail project, there will be full closures of long-distance and regional railway lines in the greater area of the Baden-Württemberg state capital from 21 April to 29 July as well as in November and December.
Initially, the Stuttgart – Bad Cannstatt – Waiblingen – Nuremberg route will be closed for 14 weeks, followed by the routes from Stuttgart towards Vaihingen and Böblingen in the winter months. In addition, the S-Bahn trunk line will be closed in summer.
"Bitter pill" for all commuters
The reason for the closures is the cable routing for the digital train control system ETCS. The railway speaks of a "multiplication effect in the cabling". This is not possible during driving. Long-distance and freight traffic will also be severely affected by the measures.
Without the closures, Deutsche Bahn will apparently not be able to meet the completion date for the new railway node for the 2025 winter timetable. Stuttgart's Lord Mayor Frank Nopper (CDU) spoke of a "bitter pill" for all commuters; Baden-Württemberg's Transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Greens) said a "maximum disruption" to rail traffic was to be expected. The announcement testifies to a "miserable management" of the project.
The railway probably did not succeed in equipping the freight trains with the digital train control system in time, so that the new station, unlike planned, now also has to be equipped with the old signalling technology. Normally, the railway needs half a year to one year to organize the replacement service. However, there are only four weeks left until the first track closure.