Monday, 29 October 2018

Superb Service in Stuttgart (3)

Is It A Tram OR A Train ...
Or a Metro, or an LRT, or a Tram-Train, or an Underground?
Or an S-Bahn, or a Funicular, or a Rack Railway?

With a significant concentration of the Motor Industry, it is not surprising that Stuttgart was heavily bombed in the Second World War.
Stuttgart endured 18 large-scale attacks by the RAF during the war (the first and last of which were on 5 March 1942 and 13 February 1945 respectively), during which 21,016 tonnes of bombs were dropped on the city, but the RAF concluded that its attacks against Stuttgart were not as effective as they could have been despite the damage wrought, saying:-

Stuttgart's experience was not as severe as other German cities. Its location, spread out in a series of deep valleys, had consistently frustrated the Pathfinders and the shelters dug into the sides of the surrounding hills had saved many lives.

Much of the rebuilding changed "the look" of the city and that rebuilding continues to today. As an example, here is the Marktplatz in days past ...
... and today.
Köningsstrasse (Kings Street) was a busy tram route in the past ...
... and now is almost unrecognisable.
Much of it is pedestrianised, quite different from the "then" picture above. Originally the road passed in front pf the grand Köningsbau (Kings Building) ...
... again now a beautiful vehicle-free area.
The " U " sign gives us a massive clue as to what has happened to the trams.

More of this transformation in tomorrow's posting.

The Hauptbahnhof (Main Station), which we met in last Thursday's and Friday's blog, was bombed several times, here showing most of the station without roof.
This view is from the western side rather than the front as shown previously.
Streetview shows a similar aspect but with more trees ...
... but switch to Google Earth and a bit is missing!
Amidst huge protests, the left hand bit of the frontage has gone completely as has another "wing" chunk on the eastern edge of the platforms.

The front view is, thankfully, undamaged ...
... but with its trams, too, underground.
Something controversial but super-spectacular is happening to the Hauptbahnhof.

Currently the station is a terminus, approached from the north (ish) as we saw, looking from Bad Cannstatt, in previous blogs.
Through trains have to do an "in and out" manoeuvre. The "Stuttgart 21" plan under construction at the moment will create a THROUGH station at right angles to the present tracks and wholly in tunnel.
The red dotty lines show the new tunnels, plus a new S-Bahn station under the "linear park". The scheme will also incorporate a brand new line to the airport (centre left bottom).

This view (from the east) ...
... shows the whole site.
New entrances are included and the whole wodge will have glazed "bubbles" to admit plenty of natural light.
The artist's impressions look amazing.
This is all for inter-city trains; the S-Bahn will retain its present route but be buried underground.

In the UK, the public is utterly excluded from such construction projects but in Stuttgart the residents have had a chance to see work in progress ...
... including a beauty parade of excavators lined up, with typical German thoroughness, in precise formation! Josef Öffentlichkeit was even invited to inspect the tunnels and a very non boring boring machine.
The whole caboodle is costing gazillions of  euros and has attracted a fair share of public opprobrium for the cost and vandalism of the side wings of the station building ...
... BUT ...

It will deliver a through station for the growing network of high speed ICE (Inter City Express - a phrase with no obvious translations into English) train services.

It is a part of the Stuttgart–Augsburg new and upgraded railway and the Magistrale for Europe (Paris to Vienna) in the framework of the Trans-European Networks. Its core is a renewed Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, amongst some 57 kilometres (35 miles) of new railways, including some 30 kilometres (19 miles) of tunnels and 25 kilometres (16 miles) of high-speed lines.

The project was officially announced in April 1994. Construction work began on 2 February 2010. As of 2017, the start of operation is expected in 2021.

Perhaps not quite as lo-o-o-ong as Crossrail, but it is certainly just as astounding from an engineering point of view.

Tomorrow we see what happened to the trams.

 Next Stuttgart blog : Tuesday 30th October 

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