ELECTRIC passenger operation on the South railway line from Ulm to Lindau-Aeschach via Friedrichshafen began on the first day of the new German timetable on December 12.

The €370m, 120km electrification project began in September 2018 with the route largely rebuilt with speeds increased to 160km/h in places. Testing and training on the line began in July.

Electric locomotives have replaced diesel units hauling Regional Express Stuttgart - Lindau services, but longer term a new fleet of ETCS equipped EMUs will be ordered by the Baden-Württemberg state owned rolling stock company SFBW. The EMUs will take over the Lindau - Ulm - Stuttgart services during 2026-27 and will serve the new underground Stuttgart main station and Wendlingen - Ulm high-speed line.

Meanwhile, a €1.8m, 1.3km extension of the Fürstenwalde - Bad Saarow branch opened from Bad Saarow Klinikum to Bad Saarow-Pieskow, with NBE operated route RB35 services extended to the new terminus. Class 650 Regioshuttle railcars are currently used, but these will be replaced by Siemens Mireo Plus B two-car BEMUs from December 2024.

In Augsburg, the 4.6km extension of the light rail network to Königsbrunn opened on December 12. The new route connects to an extended Line 3 and serves the Haunstetten Südwest development area where homes for 10,000 people will be built. Line 3 will terminate and change direction at Augsburg main station once the new line opens. Local media suggest it will open next year. A 15-minute frequency is planned on the new line from Königsbrunn and a 7.5 minute frequency from Haunsetten West park and ride is planned.

The new line cost €52m with the Bavarian state government and federal government providing 90%. 6500 daily passengers are forecast to use the line to and from Königsbrunn.

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