Munich: First preliminary work on the construction of the U9 started – Munich

“Every long journey begins with a first step,” says Munich’s second mayor, Katrin habenschaden (Greens). On Tuesday, together with construction consultant Jeanne-Marie Ehbauer and Ingo Wortmann, head of the Munich transport company (MVG), she accompanied the start of the surveying work for the construction of the U9 subway line at Esperantoplatz. The square is right next to the Theresienwiese, and one day a second Wiesn train station is to be built here.

And the journey will be really long: before 2040, the 10.5 kilometer long new relief clasp between Schwabing and Sendling will probably not go into operation – if it is built at all.

Because the project is likely to cost more than four billion euros, the finance department even fears a cost increase of up to ten billion. Nevertheless, the city council decided last autumn to have the shell of a possible U9 station built in the new main station, even if it is far from certain whether there will be federal funding for the U9.

(Photo: MVG)

Habenschaden appealed to the federal government to drastically increase funding for public transport and also to reform the funding methodology. According to the current rules, the U9 should achieve a benefit-cost factor of at least 1.0, but this is not the case.

Nevertheless, Stadtwerke München (SWM) and MVG now have to start with the preliminary planning in order to be able to achieve the 2040 target at all. The surveying work along the planned route involves, for example, the exact locations of trees, walls or lighting masts, which have an impact on where construction sites or emergency exits will later be built.

Five new underground stations are to be built for the U9

At the end of this year, SWM also want to start investigating the underground with drilling. The preliminary planning should be completed by 2026. Then the city council must decide whether to proceed with the approval planning. Construction could then start in the early 2030s.

In the future, the U9 will replace the current U6 line and connect the two science locations of Martinsried and Garching. Including Esperantoplatz, a total of five new subway stations are to be built: At the main station there would be a changeover option for regional and long-distance traffic. Football fans, for example, could then drive directly from there to the Fröttmaninger Arena without having to go via Marienplatz.

A branch towards Theresienstraße is planned at the main station, which could create a possible relief line U29 for the U2. It would run between Klinikum Großhadern and Harthof.

The Theresienstraße station would have to be expanded to include a track. There are also plans to merge the previous Implerstrasse and Poccistrasse stations and to replace them with a new building, with a connection to the planned Poccistrasse regional train stop.

Further stations are planned at the Pinakotheken and at Elisabethplatz. At the Münchner Freiheit, the train would rejoin the route of today’s U6, and a new transfer station is to be built for this purpose.

The U3 would then no longer have to share the route running between Implerstraße and Münchner Freiheit with another line, which, according to Wortmann, would make a two-minute interval possible.

Habenschaden called the U9 “the largest and most important infrastructure project in decades”. Without a well-developed subway network, the traffic turnaround will not succeed, without which the climate crisis cannot be overcome.

With the U9 and the extensions of the U4 to Englschalking and the U5 to Freiham, the underground network is to have 18 new stations and grow by 21.5 kilometers. According to building officer Ehbauer, that would be around 20 percent.

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