Germany: Opening of Stuttgart 21 Station Delayed to 2026

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has provided an update on the delayed Stuttgart 21 project, releasing a detailed timetable for commissioning the overhauled rail infrastructure in Stuttgart, Germany.

All major elements of the project, except for the Gäubahn connection via the airport, are now scheduled to be operational by the end of 2026.

The future main station will open in December 2026
The future main station will open in December 2026

Testing and Commissioning

Starting from the end of 2025, all systems involved in Stuttgart 21 will undergo extensive testing. The future main station is then scheduled to open in December 2026.

This timeline was agreed upon by Deutsche Bahn (DB) and other project partners during a recent meeting of the S21 steering committee.

DB Infrastructure Board Member Berthold Huber said:

“Stuttgart 21 is the most complex commissioning of a new railway hub in Europe in recent decades. With the modern, digitalised hub in the southwest of the country, we will be able to offer significantly more and many faster connections. Stuttgart 21 must work right from the start - with stable timetables that passengers can rely on. To achieve this, we will intensively test all new components of the rail infrastructure, the future station, the Stuttgart Digital Hub and also the vehicles and carefully prepare the operating staff for this. That is why we are refraining from the partial commissioning of the future main station, which was previously planned for the end of 2025.”

Operational Status and Developments

DB informed project partners in March 2024 that the existing terminal station would remain operational through 2026 due to the challenges faced by the nationwide Digital Node Stuttgart (DKS) pilot project. In 2025/2026, the current infrastructure will thus form the basis of the network timetable for the last time.

By the end of 2026, the following new elements will be operational:

  • Future Main Station: The new main station, along with the transport station in the Bonatz building, will replace the old terminal station. Trains with passengers will begin using the new platforms throughout 2026.
  • Untertürkheim Siding: Scheduled to open in mid-2026.
  • S-Bahn Main Line: To be equipped with digital technology by September 2026. The Gäubahn embankment necessary for the new S-Bahn connection will be dismantled starting spring 2026, allowing the Gäubahn to continue using the existing terminal station until then.
  • Stuttgart Airport Station: The new long-distance train station at Stuttgart Airport will open in December 2026, accommodating trains from Stuttgart, Ulm, and Tübingen.
  • Cannstatt Long-Distance Railway Tunnel: Both tubes will be operational, including precautionary measures for the P option, creating an additional inflow from the north between Feuerbach and the Cannstatt tunnel.
  • Wendlinger Curves: Both the small and large curves will facilitate more train traffic from and to Metzingen, Reutlingen, and Tübingen.
  • Digital Node Stuttgart (DKS): Modules 1 and 2 will equip Stuttgart 21 infrastructure and the S-Bahn core area with digital control and safety technology.

Once operational, Stuttgart 21 promises faster and more efficient connections using cutting-edge technology. The planning and phased implementation of the project aims to ensure a seamless transition to the modern rail hub, benefiting passengers and setting new standards in the industry.

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