Electrification underway in Germany

THE line from Geltendorf (west of Munich) to Lindau – the main route between Munich and Switzerland – is being electrified at 15kV AC.

The work is due to be completed by December 2020, after which Eurocity services will be operated by newer SBB or DB tilt-capable EMUs, reducing Munich to Zürich journey times from 4 hours 20 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes.

To-be-replaced DB Class 218 No. 218428 leads a pair of class 218 locos approaching Buchloe with EC194, the 12.33 Munich-Zürich, formed of SBB coaches, on January 12. 2014. This scene will be changed completely when the planned electrification is complete by 2020. KEITH FENDER

The services are currently operated with Swiss (SBB) coaches, and in Germany by pairs of DB Class 218 diesel hydraulic locos.

Planning approval for the planned electrification of the other non-electrified main line to Lindau from Ulm (via Friedrichshafen) line has recently been obtained enabling work to begin in 2018 between Ulm and Laupheim West, where the line will be closed for a three-month blockade from September 10 to December 21, 2018.

The electrification project will cost €222million for around 125 route km, most of which is double track (the 25km Lindau to Friedrichshafen section is single track) and is due for completion in December 2021, replacing diesel operation.

The Ulm to Friedrichshafen route is one of the last remaining places in Germany where DB Regio uses Class 218 diesel hydraulic locos, and both of these electrification schemes will significantly reduce their use.

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