Berlin wants to test magnetic levitation train |

As of: November 20, 2023 6:22 p.m

The operation of a magnetic levitation train is to be tested in Berlin. The black-red coalition has agreed on this. The CDU parliamentary group leader expects costs of around 80 million euros.

A five to seven kilometer long test track for a magnetic levitation train is to be built in Berlin. That’s what CDU parliamentary group leader Dirk Stettner said. He did not name a possible route or an exact date for the start of construction.

According to Stettner, a magnetic levitation train is comparatively cheap to build and can be implemented much more quickly than, for example, a subway line. The railway should be operated autonomously, i.e. without drivers, and be able to transport both people and goods.

The CDU parliamentary group leader puts the costs for this at around 80 million euros. However, these are not priced into the double budget draft for the next two years – the route is to be financed via the so-called special climate fund.

VBB: Maglev train would be innovative

The Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association (VBB) welcomed the plans. VBB boss Bonde said on rbb24 Inforadio that the city needs innovative projects. In addition, such a train would be a complement to the other light rail systems. It is quiet, cheaper, conceivable than elevated and underground railways and could supply itself with solar power.

First test attempt at the end of the 1980s

However, the idea of ​​a magnetic levitation train in Berlin is not new. There was a first attempt between 1984 and 1991. At that time, the so-called M-Bahn ran under the direction of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) on a test route between Gleisdreieck in Kreuzberg and Kemperplatz in Tiergarten.

However, the attempt was stopped after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the facilities were dismantled to make room for the expansion of subway line 2.

From the mid-1990s there were plans for the first transrapid line in Germany. It was supposed to connect the cities of Berlin and Hamburg in less than an hour’s travel time. However, the project was shelved in 2000 for cost reasons.

Before that, however, there had already been protests and signature collections against the project in Berlin

There had already been an M-Bahn (magnetic railway) in Berlin from 1984, initially in test mode and for a short time also in regular service, which was ended after reunification in 1991.

The CDU’s dream project

Most recently, the Berlin CDU made a new attempt to put the idea back on the agenda. In June 2020, the CDU state leader and current governing mayor Kai Wegner presented the proposal to build a magnetic levitation train, for example to connect BER airport or to open up new residential areas. It was part of a transport concept that the CDU had decided on in anticipation of the 2021 election campaign.

Visualization: Design for the TSB magnetic levitation train developed by Berlin-based Graft Architects.

Broadcast: rbb24 Inforadio, November 20, 2023, 6 a.m

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