THE German federal government and German Rail (DB) have signed a €200m financial agreement to fund the reconstruction of the existing electrified line between Cologne and Mönchengladbach, adding new stations in Cologne, Pulheim and Grevenbroich to allow the expansion of the existing S-Bahn route S6, replacing existing regional services.

New tracks will be added in some sections, and the signalling will be modernised.

Services will operate with 20-minute headways between Essen and Grevenbroich via Cologne, with an hourly service extending from Grevenbroich to Rheydt and Mönchengladbach.

The fund is being made available from federal funds released by the Coal Regions Investment Act, which aims to support areas which will suffer economically from the planned cessation of brown coal strip mining. The area around Grevenbroich served by the line has several major coal-fired power stations and open cast mines which are all due to close within the next decade.

Regional transport authorities go.Rheinland and Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association (VRR) financed a feasibility study for the S6 expansion to accelerate the release of federal funding.

Second S-Bahn route planned

The S6 expansion is in addition to the planned electrification and rebuilding of the nearby Horrem - Bedburg line to allow S-Bahn services to replace diesel services. Initial planning processes have been completed, and the project is awaiting approval from the Federal Railway Authority (EBA). It will also be financed via the Coal Regions Investment Act.

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