Germany Funds €500m Berlin-Szczecin Railway Upgrade

The German Federal Government and the Federal States of Berlin and Brandenburg will invest 480 million euros in upgrading the railway line between Berlin and the Polish city of Szczecin.

The works will affect the section between Angermünde and the German-Polish border and will commence in 2021. The Federal Government is contributing 380 million euros, while the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and contributing 50 million euros each.

German-Polish border on the Berlin-Szczecin railway line
German-Polish border on the Berlin-Szczecin railway line

The upgrade works will see the entire railway line become double track (40km between Passow and the border) and fully electrified. Furthermore, the whole section is to be modernised to allow trains to run at speeds of 160km/h. A total of five stations in Uckermark border region will also be refurbished. The planned completion date for the works is 2026. Trains will then travel between Berlin and the port of Szczecin in 90 minutes, which is 20 minutes faster than today.

Ronald Pofalla, Head of Infrastructure, Deutsche Bahn, said:

“It will become a powerful, attractive connection that will bring the two metropolitan areas and also the municipalities and people along the route closer together. We're creating the conditions for more capacity on the environmentally friendly rail network, for faster and better connections to our Polish neighbours, and we're closing a gap in the European railway network. I would like to thank the federal government as well as the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, who're making this possible.”

World War II Reparations

The railway line between the two cities was double-track before 1945. One of the tracks was removed after World War II as part of reparations payments to the Soviet Union. Incidentally, prior to that Szczecin had also been the capital of Prussia and was known as Stettin. It became part of Poland when new borders were drawn after the war.

Tamara Zieschang, Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said:

“This is the third cross-border route we're upgrading – after the electrified border crossing in Frankfurt/Oder and the crossing near Horka. Germany and Poland are growing together. The railway is making Europe strong.”

Upgrading the mainline – and one of Germany’s oldest railway lines – won’t just bring communities closer together, it will enable more people and goods to take advantage of a green transport option.

Frederik Bewer, Mayor of Angermünde, said:

“The railway line is an important lifeline for our town. This seminal and future-oriented route upgrade will place Angermünde at the centre, between Berlin and Szczecin. Our town will become a hub between the two metropolitan regions. This development is a great opportunity to improve Angermünde as a great place to live outside of the big cities and to make it more attractive to businesses. For a town that values and nurtures German-Polish relations this upgrade is also a very important and essential step for our cross-border co-operation.”

The planning for an initial upgrade phase between Angermünde and Passow began in 2013. The planning permission for this phase is expected in 2021, meaning that the works can begin.

The double-track expansion for the section between Passow and the German-Polish border is currently in planning. These works are to begin in 2024.

There is parallel planning taking place on the Polish side to upgrade the line between the German-Polish border and Szczecin.

The upgrade works will close a gap in the trans-European transport network and will connect four major European transport axes between Scandinavia and the Baltics as well as southeast Europe and the Mediterranean.

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