THE German federal government and German Rail (DB) have signed a €400m agreement to finance the expansion of the line between Düsseldorf-Reisholz and Wehrhahn station to six tracks to segregate Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX), long-distance and S-Bahn and services through Düsseldorf.

The funding will also be used to install modern interlocking technology and a new platform at Düsseldorf Central Station, which will be barrier free. More than 10km of noise protection will be installed at up to 6m high. DB experts will also intensively monitor 4.4km of track and will grind the tracks if needed to further reduce noise for nearby residents.

The project will provide a more reliable service between Cologne and Dortmund and increase capacity at the busy Düsseldorf node.

The Düsseldorf-Reisholz - Wehrhahn project is part of a wider plan to expand infrastructure between Düsseldorf-Benrath and Duisburg to six tracks. This includes the installation of a new electronic interlocking in Düsseldorf that will extend from Leverkusen Chempark to Düsseldorf-Kalkum.

The Düsseldorf-Reisholz - Wehrhahn plans are currently being examined by the Federal Railway Authority (EBA), and DB says it will provide an update on when construction will begin after planning permission has been granted.

DB Infrastructure director, Mr Ronald Pofalla, says the expansion and new interlockings will create capacity for an additional 24,000 journeys on rail a day.