Rhine Valley Railway Tunnel Would Be Cheaper Than Previously Believed

The official feasibility study for building a railway tunnel along the Rhine Valley between Bonn and Wiesbaden concluded that it cost less to build than had been thought in the past. The 118 km tunnel dedicated to freight would enable freight trains to avoid the narrow part of the Rhine Valley, where the infrastructure is in many places over 150 years old, and creates unacceptable noise for the communities along the way.

The stretch is one of the most important and heavily utilized railway routes in Europe, connecting the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp with Genoa, Italy. While the feasibility study identifies the project as the Rheintal Tunnelsystem, it has been featured in both EIR magazine and EIR’s Eurasian Land-Bridge reports as the Taunus-Westerwald Tunnel, which was promoted by the engineering office of Dr. Rolf G. Niemeyer, of Bonn.

The study, commissioned for the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, found that the project would cost €6.8 billion, rather than the €8-10 bn of previous estimates. In an interview in SWR TV on Aug. 12, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) welcomed the report: “It’s very gratifying that we have positive news from this feasibility study. Now the question is: How is the benefit-cost ratio to be assessed? And for that, we need the traffic forecast for 2040. That’s the next step. But the first signal for the region is: thumbs up!”

* See Make German Railways Fit for the Silk Road, by Dean Andromidas.

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