Deal struck to build high-speed maglev line

25th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 September 2007, Munich (dpa) - Funding has been agreed for a new high-speed magnetic levitation rail transport system between the centre of Munich and the city's airport, the government of the German state of Bavaria said Tuesday.

25 September 2007

Munich (dpa) - Funding has been agreed for a new high-speed magnetic levitation rail transport system between the centre of Munich and the city's airport, the government of the German state of Bavaria said Tuesday.

The final details on funding the controversial Transrapid project, costing 1.85 billion euros (2.60 billion dollars), were agreed at talks late Monday between the Bavaria government, Germany's state-owned rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB), and the Transrapid Consortium.

The project is to be funded by the German federal government, the Bavarian state government, DB, Munich Airport, the European Union and German industry.

In terms of the deal, the federal government will not be responsible for cost over-runs.

The system is intended to be operational in 2014, allowing passengers to make the 37-kilometre journey between Munich Airport and the Bavarian capital's main railway station in 10 minutes. The current rail connection takes 40 minutes.

Critics of the project characterized it as a "parting gift" for Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber, who leaves office after 14 years next month.

But Stoiber said the deal marked the culmination of decades of effort to bring the Transrapid to Munich.

He denied the project was a parting gift, and said it was rather a "guiding light for high technology made in Germany."

The Transrapid was developed as a prestige project led by traditional German engineering concerns Siemens and Thyssen.

Its backers point to speeds of up to 500 kilometres that can be attained. As there is no contact between the train and track, there is no mechanical friction and no wear.

Critics say the Transrapid cannot easily be integrated into the rail network and point to its high cost.

The only Transrapid in commercial service operates between downtown Shanghai and the city's airport.

A year ago, 23 people died and 11 were injured when a Transrapid crashed into a maintenance vehicle on a test-track near the western German city of Osnabrueck.

DPA

Subject: German news

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