German rail project suspended until December: mediator

7th October 2010, Comments 1 comment

All work on a rail project in the German city of Stuttgart that sparked violent protests has been suspended until December to allow for further consultation with opponents, a mediator said on Thursday.

"No irreversible act" would take place until more discussions had taken place, said Heiner Geissler, a member of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, who was appointed as mediator on Wednesday by regional authorities.

Opponents had demanded a complete freeze of building work before agreeing to further talks, said Geissler.

Talks would begin at the end of next week with the aim of concluding "before Christmas", she said.

The seven-billion-euro (9.6-billion-dollar) plan to modernise southwestern Germany's rail network, which includes the partial destruction of Stuttgart's interwar station, has prompted mass protests in recent months, culminating on in heavy clashes last Thursday that left more than 100 people injured.

Regional authorities in Baden-Wuerttemberg state on Tuesday announced a temporary halt to tree cutting and demolition of parts of Stuttgart's station, but said building work would continue.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • rainer apel posted:

    on 8th October 2010, 09:09:58 - Reply

    Ah--- if we had just seen all the energy that citizens have invested in this protest in Stuttgart, invested in protests against a much costlier project: the bank bailouts with their several hundred billions of euros of taxpayers money spent. But leaving that aside: I think it would be beneficial for the Stuttgart citizens to look beyond their own city and region and not to loose touch with important changes that are going on globally, in the transport sector. For example, if the resumed Russian-American discussions about the construction of a railway tunnel under the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Siberia, bear fruit in the near future, large volumes of commodity will be transported in either direction, and although most of that will end up somewhere in Siberia, China, USA, Canada, a good part of that will also seek its way to, and from Europe. Germany better be prepared for getting these millions of tons on rail, rather than the highways.

    I know the Stuttgart 21 project is not for transports of goods, at least not in the first place, but bringing the commodity aspect into the dialogue which Deutsche Bahn and the politicians are offering now, is exactly what should be done now, I think. As for the aforesaid Bering Strait Tunnel project, more info at

    Rainer Apel