Ferlemann told Germany’s DPA press agency on March 18 that current plans to upgrade the route for a maximum speed of 230km/h are inadequate for the proposed Deutschlandtakt national timetable, which would see regular-interval half-hourly services on core routes by 2030.

“We have to run at 300km/h between Hanover and Bielefeld to reduce the travel time between Hannover and Hamm to under one hour,” Ferlemann says.

The proposed line would run from Seelze west of Hannover to the Porta Westfalica/Bad Oeynhausen area northeast of Bielefeld, with a favoured alignment largely following the Highway 2 corridor.

Ferlemann says more work is now required to test the feasibility of different route variants and identify a preferred alignment with the aim of launching public consultation on the project in 2020.

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