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German developments


The contracts for the Stadtbahn Heilbronn-Öhringen are ready for signature, More partners were involved in it than with the Eppingen-Heilbronn stage. Now the Heilbronn town assembly has agreed. The signatures of the communes follow. The Stadtbahn project has become an integrated local traffic project, Öhringen-Cappel and nearby Heilbronner and Hohenloher communes Weinsberg, Ellhofen, Obersulm, Bretzfeld and Öhringen are involved, also the "Hohenlohekreis" and on the stretch between Heilbronner Trappensee and the terminus.

In a different way than with the Eppingen-Heilbronn stretch (an extension of the Karlruher system), the Albtalverkehrsgesellschaft becomes a railway subsidiary of DB Regio AG - an enterprise syndicate. The extension could cost 180 million DM (reckoned by the Obersulmer SPD-council. The official costs at present still do not include planning expenses and taxes. Building expenses will cost 50 million DM and extra for the electrification. For the refurbishment of the Weinsberger tunnel it is estimated eight million DM will be needed, of which five million DM will be paid by DB Netz AG. The building of tram stops will cost 26 million DM. For 59 million DM ten Stadtbahnwagen are to be purchased. 85% of the infrastructure expenses will be met by national and Land (county), which will also adopt 50 per cent of the vehicle expenses. The planning expenses will be the responsibility of the local communes. They will pay approximately ten per cent of the costs of construction, The city of Heilbronn will meet the cost of infrastructure for example with 6.28 per cent, Obersulm with 29.71 and Bretzfeld with 20.92 per cent. For the cost of the trams, Heilbronn has an interest of 32.75%, Öhringen of 12.57%. Between the districts and the surrounding communes it will be arranged that they divide among themselves the expenses in each case. Moreover, Öhringen and the "Hohenlohekreis" have agreed with their Heilbronner partners, that they all share the extra cost of the wish of Öhringen to terminate the line not at Öhringen railway station but beyond in Cappel. There, shunting and storage space exists. Besides, Öhringen wants to establish a new housing area in Cappel.

The 1380 metre stretch in Heilbronn from Heilbronn-Harmonie to Pfülpark will cost 89 million DM for infrastructure and associated work, including a new bridge to link the tramway with the railway and a power sub-station.

Construction will commence In 2002.

Information from "Heilbronner Stimme" 16th and 17th October, 2001. Translated by Graham Feakins


Hanau, with 100,000 inhabitants, is the fourth city in the Hesse region, after Frankfurt (Main), Darmstadt and Kassel, that hopes to decide to return to the tram, including inter-running with the DB, as in Karlsruhe. The tramway would link north and south communities of Hanau using existing railways of Hanau-Friedberg and the Odenwaldbahn to avoid building another bridge over the River Main. Street running would be in the centre and could be in operation by 2004/2005 at a cost of circa 200 million DM.

The original tramway (which never crossed the centre) was destroyed by bombing on 19th March, 1945 but the existing bus services still run under the name "Hanauer Straßenbahn". The concept still needs cross-political support but Is welcomed by the mayoress and aided by transport expert Prof.Heiner Monheim, who expressed that it was a "verdammt guten Konzept".

From "Offenbacher Post" 17th October, 2001. Translated by Graham Feakins

31 October 2001

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