Modern network for eastern routes from Berlin to Szczecin and Dresden
Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) is embarking on a major undertaking! Supported by the German government, DB AG has launched the largest modernization project in its history. Eastern Germany is among the beneficiaries: the Stettin Railway from Angermuende to the Polish border and the line section between Doberlug and Kirchhain are being upgraded to achieve greater capacities in rail transport.
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A gateway to the world
The Stettin Railway connects the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region with the German-Polish border before continuing to Szczecin (Stettin) on the Polish side. As the gateway to the Baltic Sea, the port city is an important hub between Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Central Europe, and the rail line between Germany and Poland is important for European freight traffic. For Strong Rail, DB AG is making the 49-kilometer line section between Angermuende in Brandenburg and the German-Polish border fit for the future. On the Polish side, PKP PLK (Polish State Railways Infrastructure) is modernizing the ten remaining kilometers to Szczecin. In the future, trains will be able to travel at 160 km/h on the entire line. Complete electrification will enable modern carbon-neutral rail transport, while a second track will reduce travel time by 20 minutes and allow for increased service frequency. DB AG is also modernizing five stations.
The East in the fast lane
Trains on the line between Angermuende and the Polish border can currently travel at a maximum speed of 120 km/h. To make the rail link more efficient, Angermuende station has been undergoing upgrades since the end of last year: nine switches, two and a half kilometers of rails, around 1,000 metric tons of ballast and new catenary supports are needed to bring the track layout up to date. In the future, the core elements of the line will be formed by four 740-meter-long passing sidings near Angermuende and Passow. On the entire first section of the line between Angermuende and Passow, a new overhead line will be installed to replace the existing catenary so that it can be used by electric-only express trains. There are also plans to modernize the station in Passow. DB Netz AG has commissioned a converter station in Angermuende to supply power to the line. The converter station will convert power from the public grid at a frequency of 50 hertz into traction power at 16.7 hertz – and should not be confused with the transformer station, which changes the voltage of the current. DB Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C) will support the construction work on behalf of DB Netz AG in the fields of project and sectoral design as well as in construction implementation planning and environmental planning.
Rail link for Europe
The second section runs from Passow to the German-Polish border. From here it is another ten kilometers on the Polish side to Szczecin. On the 30-mile section between Passow and the border DB E&C will be supporting construction of a second track with overhead line on behalf of DB Netz AG. On the existing line, the railroad installations – overhead lines, tracks and track bed as well as safety and security systems (signals and switches) – will be modernized. And the stations in Schönow, Casekow, Petershagen and Tantow will also be rejuvenated.
If you would like to gain an impression from a bird’s eye view, you will find a spectacular flight over the railroad line between Angermuende and the border (D/PL) here. Completion is scheduled for 2026. It will then be possible to travel at 160 km/h on the entire line, and trains from Berlin to Szczecin will only take 90 minutes instead of the previous 110. DB is investing a significant amount in this project: the upgrade has a budget of 380 million euros and from 2026 will also provide better connections between the core network corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The entire line will be equipped with the standardized European Train Control System (ETCS). ETCS increases reliability and capacity and facilitates international rail transport in Europe.
Full speed ahead into the future
The double-track, electrified rail link between Berlin and Dresden is one of the most important lines in Eastern Germany. As part of its modernization project, DB AG intends to enable speeds of 200 km/h throughout, thus making another part of its network fit for the future. The refurbishment of Doberlug-Kirchhain station in Brandenburg is a vital step on this path: in addition to the double-track section for regional and long-distance transport with a total length of five kilometers, the Doberlug-Kirchhain crossing station is also set to benefit from new platforms, elevators and access routes. In addition, there will be new overhead lines, control-command and signaling including adjustment of the European Train Control System (ETCS), a new equipment building, and six new road and rail bridges. DB E&C is responsible for the BIM design (Building Information Modeling: software-based, connected construction design) for transport facilities, nonbuilding structures, trackside equipment, mechanical infrastructure facilities as well as for surveying work, creating BIM as-built models and geotechnical consulting and investigation.