Post-storm repairs finished at Berlin's station

29th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 January 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Welders have completed an emergency programme to secure a grid-like facade on Berlin's billion-euro main station, a German railways spokesman said, 10 days after a 2-ton steel beam blew off and crashed to the ground during Hurricane Kyrill. Standing on cherry-picker platforms, the workers have welded additional fasteners to the decorative steel framework of one of the world's most expensive stations, an airport-style complex with shopping malls, six elevated platforms and ei

29 January 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Welders have completed an emergency programme to secure a grid-like facade on Berlin's billion-euro main station, a German railways spokesman said, 10 days after a 2-ton steel beam blew off and crashed to the ground during Hurricane Kyrill.

Standing on cherry-picker platforms, the workers have welded additional fasteners to the decorative steel framework of one of the world's most expensive stations, an airport-style complex with shopping malls, six elevated platforms and eight tunnel platforms.

TV viewers watched January 18 as Europe's worst storm of recent years dislodged the beam as a reporter was giving live video coverage outside the station, opened last May. The damage to Berlin's newest tourist attraction embarrassed the railway company.

The station was closed for 14 hours amid fears of more damage. Erected at a cost of 1 billion euros (1.3 billion dollars), the station is at the focus of parliamentary questions about cost overruns.

At the end of November, architect Meinhard von Gerkan won a court case relating to design changes made by Deutsche Bahn against his will. The lawsuit may result in parts of the station being rebuilt at an estimated cost of 40 million euros.

So many trees fell on rail tracks in western and southern Germany that the entire network had to be shut down during the hurricane.

A senior rail executive, Karl-Friedrich Rausch, has apologized to passengers who were left stranded without word of when travel would resume.

In an interview to appear Monday in the newspaper Tagesspiegel, he said the company would try to publish information quickly in emergencies and also tell passengers when they bought tickets if works or other reasons could cause trains to run late.

DPA

Subject: German news

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