Traffic: breakdown on the new line: trains have to use the old route via the Alb

A quarter of an hour should be saved when driving over the new high-speed line between Wendlingen and Ulm.

Traffic: breakdown on the new line: trains have to use the old route via the Alb

A quarter of an hour should be saved when driving over the new high-speed line between Wendlingen and Ulm. However, there were considerable delays just one day after the start of the new line between Wendlingen and Münsterstadt. The train rolled backwards on Monday morning: due to a breakdown, several trains had to be routed back to Ulm in the direction of Stuttgart and routed over the old, slower route over the Alb. A train sometimes needed just under three hours for the route from Ulm to Stuttgart. A single case, emphasized a railway spokeswoman afterwards.

The reason for the breakdown: According to the railways, a train driver made a mistake when starting the new train control system, the European Train Control System (ETCS). That's why his ICE could not connect to the train's control system on the new line between Ulm and Wendlingen, as a spokeswoman for the railway told the German Press Agency. "The safety systems prevented the journey from continuing and the train had to turn back."

The train got stuck in the tunnel, the route was blocked for almost two hours, according to the railways. Several regional and long-distance trains have been diverted via the old route. "Meanwhile, the trains are rolling again according to plan," said the spokeswoman at noon. The train drivers would be sensitized again.

According to the company, this was an exception: "Since the start of operations on Sunday, 99 percent of the trains have run over the new route without any problems," it said. When asked, however, a railway spokeswoman explained that these 99 percent only take into account the trains that actually drove over the new line - the diverted ones were therefore not included in the calculation. According to Bahn, two trains had to be diverted to the old Alb route on Sunday - due to delays so that the new route was not blocked, it said.

On Monday evening there were still train cancellations and numerous delays on the route from Stuttgart to Ulm, but that was not due to the new line, but to vehicle malfunctions and a driver failure, the railway said.

ETCS stands for a new train control system that the engine drivers have to dial into in order to be able to drive on the new line. Systems such as ETCS and also digital interlockings should significantly increase capacity on the rails, for example because trains can use them to run at closer intervals.

After ten years of construction, the new line, which cost around four billion euros, was inaugurated by political celebrities on Friday and has been in regular operation since Sunday with the new timetable.

The federal, state, cities and railways had actually advertised widely that trains would in future run at maximum speeds of 250 kilometers per hour over the sometimes steep route and thus also shorten travel times to Munich and Stuttgart. Half of the 60-kilometer track runs through newly built tunnels. The new route should also improve the daily service between Stuttgart and Munich by around 20 to 90 trips.

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