Potential Analysis between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland in Rail Transport

Hausarbeit, 2021

30 Seiten, Note: 2,0

Florian Wondratschek (Autor:in)



1. Introduction

2. Potential analysis
2.1. Status of the traffic situation between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland
2.2. Treaty of Lugano
2.3. Methods of the potential analysis

3. Results of the railway line investigation
3.1. Rheintalbahn
3.1.1. Travel times
3.1.2. Shift potential
3.1.3. Benefit-cost ratio
3.2. Gäubahn
3.2.1. Travel times
3.2.2. Shift potential
3.2.3. Benefit-cost ratio
3.3. Gap closure Elzach-Hausach
3.3.1. Travel times
3.3.2. Shift potential
3.3.3. Benefit-cost ratio

4. Discussion

List of figures


Gender-appropriate language is used in the study

List of abbreviations:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

Sustainable mobility will change the future. Basic questions about how and why we get around will determine whether we achieve climate neutrality and how best to incorporate it into a society where route acceleration is a policy requirement to be considered. Rail transport is a crucial means of mobility in transport and environmental policy: the shift from road to rail goes hand in hand with a reduction in CO[2], fine dust and nitrogen emissions, congestion avoidance, less land consumption and positive effects for logistics and the economy. Local public transport (SPNV) and long-distance public transport (SPFV) are regarded as high-quality, high-performance connections both between regions and for international development. In view of the increasing use of the railways, they offer the opportunity to tap new potential in rail transport and thus new target groups. Both the federal and state governments have mentioned the great importance of rail connections in their coalition agreements. Not only in the Baden-Wuerttemberg discourse is a good connection to Switzerland called for as an important building block for the future orientation of the rail transport infrastructure, but the federal governments of Switzerland and Germany have also committed themselves to this through the Treaty of Lugano. The former Swiss Transport Minister, Adolf Ogi, called the Lugano agreement "a mission for Switzerland" (cf. Jehle 2021, 7). With the expiry of the agreement in 2021, he did not hold back in criticising Germany: "Unfortunately, our neighbour to the north has not kept to the agreement" (cf. ib.). Winfried Hermann, the transport minister of Baden-Württemberg, also shares this criticism: "We have not come close to delivering" (cf. ib.). For this reason, a potential analysis is to be prepared within the scope of this work, which will in particular reveal the current situation of the railway infrastructure between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland. Using various criteria, an attempt is made to analyse which expansion variants could offer the greatest potential for a shift from road to rail. The study thus claims to follow up on the basic idea of the Treaty of Lugano and aims to identify possibilities for improved rail transport. In this study, the core data of the BVWP will be presented, which deal in particular with the SPFV and SGV. A potential analysis of the SPNV requires further transport engineering references, which is not part of this paper.

2. Potential analysis

2.1. Status of the traffic situation between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland

In order to be able to describe the traffic situation more precisely, a brief geographical explanation of how the two countries are currently connected to each other is required. In the south-east of Baden-Württemberg is Lake Constance, the largest lake in Germany, which only connects the two countries by ferry. The first land border between the two states is located in Constance and Kreuzlingen. The canton of Schaffhausen contains the northernmost point of Switzerland, which lies on the same latitude as Schluchsee. The town of Büsingen is a German conclave in this canton. The Rhine then marks the border between the two countries in the south from the town of Hohentengen to Basel to the border triangle with France. The transport policy situation is challenging for both countries for various reasons. On the one hand, geographically it is a comprehensive task to connect major cities, since on both sides simple straight-line transport connections are hardly feasible due to the city and river locations and the naturally evolved landscapes. In Baden-Württemberg, the Black Forest National Park stretches to the west, so that only through the Rhine valley is flat traffic easily realisable. The A5 motorway between Basel and Karlsruhe is also located there, as is the Rhine Valley railway, which is relevant for European north-south rail traffic. The eastern route to Switzerland is between Stuttgart and Zurich. The scope for traffic routes is considerably smaller here due to the Swabian Alb to the east. The A 81 runs directly in between to the Swiss border, where it then joins the A 4. There is a long motorway tunnel in Schaffhausen, Winterthur is bypassed to the west and Zurich is reached to the north. It must also be taken into account that neither the A 4 in Zurich, nor the A 81 in Stuttgart is built all the way into the city centre, but they are routed onto federal roads. In terms of railway technology, there is the Gäubahn to Singen (Hohentwiel), which is partly only single-track. After a turnaround, you get to Zurich via a stop in Schaffhausen.

The following values can be determined for the current travel times in rail transport, including transfer times:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

2.2. Treaty of Lugano

The Treaty of Lugano is an international treaty between Switzerland and Germany.

The agreement was concluded in Lugano on 6 September 1996, in which the Federal Republic of Germany committed itself to the four-track expansion of the Karlsruhe-Basel railway line in order to provide access to the efficient New Rail Link through the Alps (NEAT). Because there have been considerable delays on the part of German federal governments, this expansion is to be completed "in 2042 at the earliest" (Electronic Official Journal of the European Union 2016).

The agreement provides for enormous time improvements for Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland. Between Stuttgart and Zurich, the travel time is to be reduced to 2% hours through line improvements and the use of tilting technology (cf. Publication platform of the federal law of the Swiss Confederation 1996, Art. 3). However, in the 2030 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, Germany is only planning measures on this connection that will lead to a travel time reduction of eleven minutes, to around 2 hours and 45 minutes. Germany should increase the capacity over the Rheintalbahn by installing modern operational control signalling technology, a sectional four-track expansion to eliminate capacity bottlenecks and by 2020 the completion of the four-track expansion between Karlsruhe and Basel.

Apart from this considerable backlog, the only thing successfully implemented in the agreement is that between Munich and Zurich the travel time will be reduced to 3% hours through electrification, which is to be implemented by the end of 2021. Originally, Switzerland committed itself to several infrastructure projects. A new line was planned between the Olten and Bern areas, a new line from the Basel area through the Jura, and a double-track Rhine bridge in the course of the connecting railway between Basel Badischer Bahnhof and Basel SBB. In the long term, the expansion of the double-track High Rhine line with a new Rhine crossing at Bad Säckingen was planned, which was to be addressed in a later agreement. The consideration of building a completely new line from the Basel area through the Jura has been rejected again. Instead, as part of its contractual obligation, the Swiss Confederation rebuilt the Bözberg tunnel between Basel and Zurich with two lanes to create the necessary capacity for rail traffic, including transalpine freight traffic for the Gotthard axis. Its completion took place on 9 November 2020 in accordance with the contract.

The agreement expired on 31 December 2020 and was replaced by a successor agreement. In the new ratified agreement, which replaces the Treaty of Lugano, there are no longer any mutual time commitments. There is talk of further development of various routes, but concrete measures can no longer be found (cf. BMVI 2021b, 5).

2.3. Methods of the potential analysis

The federal government and the state intend to give rail transport an even higher priority. This is a central building block for meeting sustainability, environmental and climate targets at federal and state level. For this reason, the state has set itself an ambitious and measurable goal: the doubling of regional rail passenger transport by 2030, measured in passenger kilometres from the cut-off date of 1 January 2010 (cf. Ministry of transport Baden-Württemberg 2021, 3).

In addition, in order to achieve the goals set by the Federal Republic of Germany in the Treaty of Lugano, the offer between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland must be systematically improved and continuously expanded. This includes a comprehensive examination of the train and route offer. Gap closures can also be a component of this improvement strategy. In November 2021, based on a potential analysis, the elaboration should select various train paths to be examined for which the following criteria apply:

a) the travel time between the Swiss cities of Basel/Zurich and the Baden-Württemberg cities of Karlsruhe/Stuttgart is reduced via infrastructural upgrading measures,
b) the route has sufficient transfer potential, and
c) the expected investment costs within the framework of a standardised evaluation indicate that a benefit-cost ratio > 1 can be achieved.

For the routes selected according to test step a), for which a reduction in travel time is possible compared to the times specified above, the next step b) is to show the modal shift potential and c) the benefit-cost ratio.

The estimation of the achievable modal shift potential in SPFV and SGV always refers to the year 2030, which is the reference year. The modal shifts determined by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure were determined using the modal shift model. This model is described in a study on the determination of time cost rates, which was developed in the context of the preparation of the Federal Transport Plan 2030 (cf. Research group of ETH Zurich 2014). Either all analyses published by the BMVI are embedded or the passenger values are calculated on the basis of the BMVI's own data. The partial study by Waßmuth (2017) is used for the shift potential from MIT to SPFV between Stuttgart and Zurich. In this way, the benefit-cost ratio can be estimated and compared in order to be able to make a clear statement at the end about which variants and routes should be preferred.

3. Results of the railway line investigation

3.1. Rheintalbahn

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Fig. 1: Rheintalbahn

The State Railways of Baden financed and built the Rheintalbahn. With the Baden law on the construction of the main line of March 28, 1838, the Grand Duke decided to build a railway “from Mannheim via Heidelberg, Carlsruhe, Rastatt, Offenburg, Dinglingen and Freiburg to the Swiss border near Basel” (cf. Grossherzoglich-Badisches Staats- und Regierungs-Blatt 1838, 121). Although the embankment was designed for two lanes from the start, Leopold, the Grand Duke of Baden, only assumed a single-track route (cf. ib.). He preferred that the government should decide at which points the railroad should be expanded to two lanes. Baden (1840) and Württemberg (1845) are considered to be one of the first regions in Germany to rely on the railroad (cf. ib./ cf. Brunecker 2013, 17). The first section was opened between Heidelberg and Mannheim in 1840, and the connection to Basel was completed by 1855. The line was fully electrified by 1958.

As part of the upgraded line Karlsruhe - Basel, the Rheintalbahn should be upgraded to high speed between Karlsruhe and Offenburg according to plans around 1990. According to the Treaty of Lugano, the entire line was to be expanded to include at least four tracks by 2008, in order to then serve as the northern main access route to the new Gotthard Base Tunnel towards Italy. Since then, the upgraded line Karlsruhe - Basel is to be completed in 2042. Except for the question of the route between Offenburg and Müllheim, the project is being implemented as planned.

3.1.1. Travel times

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

For those who travel on high-speed trains, the expansion of the Rhine Valley railway offers time gains. The future travel time reduction looks particularly profitable for the direct Karlsruhe-Basel(-Zurich) connection, as it is 26 minutes faster here. Assuming a transfer time in Karlsruhe of 10 minutes, the journey time from Stuttgart to Basel is reduced to less than two hours. With the completion of the project, the Stuttgart-Zurich route would be slightly faster to reach via Karlsruhe than via the Gäubahn at the moment.

3.1.2. Shift potential

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The indicated shift potential refers to the data of the Project Information System (PRINS) for the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030. It can be assumed that more shifts from HGVs to rail freight transport will be achieved with a routing along the Federal Motorway 5 than with the proposed route between Offenburg and Müllheim.

3.1.3. Benefit-cost ratio

The original proposed route between Offenburg and Müllheim has a benefit-cost ratio of 3.2 (cf. BMVI 2018b). The BAB variant between Offenburg and Müllheim adopted by the Bundestag has a benefit-cost ratio of 1.6 (cf. BMVI 2018a). While the real total costs for the
measures envisaged in the BVWP on the Rhine valley railway amount to 5.4 billion euros (present value: 4.3 billion euros), the present value benefit is estimated at 7.1 billion euros (cf. ib.).

3.2. Gäubahn

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The Gäubahn refers to the railway line between Stuttgart-Singen and Fredenstadt, which was not built at the beginning of iron construction (1845), but only during the fourth construction period of Württemberg from 1875 to 1886 (cf. Walter/Pfündel 1988, 3). It is clear from this line connection that hardly anything has changed in the course of the Gäubahn up to the present day (cf. ib.) It was planned from the outset in such a way that it could be double-tracked. While all other railway lines from Stuttgart's main station were extended to four tracks, the Stuttgart connecting line with the south-western parts of the country remained with its two tracks. It is thus the only railway line in Stuttgart whose route dates back to the 19th century. The fact that it is part of the Trans-European Transport Network can be seen in the line connections around 1930, when it was the "section of the shortest route between the cosmopolitan city of Berlin, [...] the Swiss metropolis of Zurich [...] the upper Italian lakes and the Riviera" (ib.). The renewed discussion in Germany about the introduction of night trains had long been a reality at this time, almost two decades ago, as an SBB train with the international connection "Berlin-Leipzig-Stuttgart-Zurich-St. Gotthard-Milan-Rome" arrived in Stuttgart every morning at 7:30 (cf. ib.). Even though the line out of the Stuttgart basin was enormously steep by the standards of the time, with a gradient of 2 percent, this was mastered by the pioneering work of the Swabian railway industry, as the Maschinenfabrik Esslingen, on whose foundations the foundry of an automobile company stands now, designed one of the most powerful locomotives in the world (cf. Walter/ Pfündel 1988, 2).

During the Second World War, the line was severely damaged, and the single-track situation that was partially caused has not been remedied to this day. Tilting technology is used on the line. It is also of great importance that at the end of the 20th century, the continuation of the Gäubahn in the Stuttgart city district is endangered by the Stuttgart 21 project.

Due to the required dismantling of the 16-track terminus station to an 8-track underground station, the Gäubahn is to be interrupted for several years and, on the other hand, it is questionable whether the Gäubahn will end at Stuttgart's main station. The original plan for Stuttgart 21 envisages connecting the IC trains to Nuremberg via the Remsbahn, although this has not yet been upgraded for tilting vehicles. Coming via the Rohrer Kurve, the trains are to be routed onto the S-Bahn line to the airport and from there via the double-track Filder Tunnel into the underground station. In terms of the timetable, 90 minutes are planned, which a long-distance train would then need for a turnaround in Bad Cannstatt station or in Untertürkheim stabling station (cf. Blum/ Brand/ Büker/ Stahl 2016, 49). Significantly more SPFV connections between Stuttgart and Zurich could be implemented if the trains were to turn around in the terminus station, as empty runs would be avoided and the time would only be used for changing trains. The state ministry of transport is considering allowing the Gäubahn to continue to terminate at the terminus station, although they want to build it underground in the future due to a highly controversial land claim by the city (cf. Hermann 2021, 7). Another proposal, which is officially called variant 2-040b, on the other hand, envisages a new Gäubahn tunnel with costs of up to one billion, which would once again lead via the airport long-distance station into the double-track Filder Tunnel and reach the transit station at the end. Since neither "Rohrer Kurve", "Gäubahntunnel" nor "Tiefkopfbahnhof" have received planning approval to date, it is surprising that the demand of mediator Heiner Geißler, various transport and environmental organisations and the Action Alliance against Stuttgart 21 to preserve the terminus station for the Gäubahn has been disregarded by the state capital to this day (cf. Geißler 2011, 9/ cf. VCD Baden-Württemberg 2021/ cf. Arnoldi 2020, 8).

It should be made clear that the discussion about the completion of the Gäubahn in the Stuttgart region is essentially an extended debate about Stuttgart 21, which has an impact on the future development of the timetable and the expansion possibilities of the Gäubahn.

For this reason, a variant "Singen" was invented for scientific reasons on the basis of the expert report by Blum et al. (2016) on the two variants of the BMVI. The infrastructure measures assumed by the BMVI envisage routes via the Filder Tunnel with an airport stop. In the further course, they envisage the bypass of Singen via the "Singener Kurve", which will cost between 40-57.5 million euros, depending on the expert opinion (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 43/ cf. BMVI 2021a, 4). In the latest variant of the BMVI, the double-track between Rottweil- Neufra, Spaichingen-Rietheim and Lottstetten-Rafz was omitted in comparison to the first draft; instead, in addition to the Gäubahn tunnel, there is a single-track new alignment between Horb-Sulz. The variant "Singen" differs from the others in that it's planned without the Singener Kurve and thus includes a turnaround in Singen, but it provides for the consistent double-tracking of the Gäubahn to the Swiss border with all the associated infrastructural improvements. In contrast to the other variants, it relies on three tracks between Gärtringen and Herrenberg in order to be able to overtake commuter trains there.

In addition to "sectional line extensions", the report (2016) also mentions entirely "new line sections". The latter were examined "where the greatest travel time savings can be realised with regard to the target travel time of 2h15' [...]" (Blum et al. 2016, 36). The new line sections named by Blum et al. (2016), which are relevant for a reduction of the journey time to 2h15' between Stuttgart and Zurich, are listed for completeness, but are not included in any of the examined variants. Whether the time of 2h15' in the Treaty of Lugano can be achieved is critically assessed in the expert report (2016). This would involve longer sections of new construction for which investments of about two billion euros would be necessary and which would also reduce the economic viability of the railway line between Horb and Rottweil (cf. Blum et al. 2016, V a. 43).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3.2.1. Travel times

The following time relations result from an extended Gäubahn. The two-minute acceleration comes from the new speed advantages in the case of an implementation of the "sectional line extensions" named by Blum et al. (2016), as well as an omission of the airport station in Stuttgart.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3.2.2. Shift potential

The evaluation of the expansion measures on the Gäubahn is based on the one hand on the "Expert opinion on journey time reductions on the international Stuttgart-Zurich corridor", and on the other hand on an analysis of the potential for selected expansion measures that has already been carried out for the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030.

The following differences to the demand potential arise for the Singen variant. Without the Singen curve, the freight bypass is missing, which will inhibit the shift potential. All variants in the SPFV calculate with a run through the Singen station.

What is not taken into account in the calculations for the modal shift potential is the stability of the timetable. This is because continuous double-tracking ensures that the traffic flow is ideal and that one has to wait for a counter-train even if there is a delay. It should therefore be noted beyond the calculation that the shift potential can only unfold if the train timetable is reliable and stable. However, route connections that are risky from a capacity point of view do not influence the calculation of the modal shift potential.

Change in traffic Stuttgart - Singen - Border D/CH

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3.2.3. Benefit-cost ratio

The benefit-cost ratio of the BMVI for its sections in variant 2-040-V01 corresponds to 2.7 . While the real total costs for the measures on the Gäubahn envisaged in the BVWP amount to 356 million euros (present value: 297.4 million euros), the present value benefit is estimated at 815.1 million euros.

In the case of variant 2-040b with the "Gäubahn tunnel", the economic efficiency ratio looks significantly worse. The real total costs amount to 1.7 billion euros (present value: 1.5 billion euros), the present value benefit is 1.7 billion euros (cf. BMVI 2021a, 25 a. 28). The benefit­cost ratio is thus 1.2 .

For the variant "Singen", on the other hand, it was not possible to fall back on existing data from the BMVI, but had to be recalculated with the help of existing data. It was already a difficulty in this work to examine all variants side by side for an estimation of the passenger potential, as the assumed expansion costs in the expert opinion (2016) are probably outdated and must be adjusted upwards. The calculation, which cannot replace the BMVI's assessment, but which provides a rough guideline through estimates, is illustrated in the appendix. It is assumed that the variant "Singen" with a benefit-cost ratio of 5.8 is the most economical route extension variant. The real total costs amount to 473.4 million euros (present value: 331.1 million euros), the present value benefit 1.9 billion euros.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Fig. 3: Gap closure Elzach-Hausach

In contrast to the Rheintalbahn and the Gäubahn, this gap closure project is a connection that has not yet been considered in a federal transport infrastructure plan. It can only be found on the "Linieplus" page, where anyone can submit proposals for rail transport (cf. Linieplus 2021).

In the search for possible German-Swiss rail alignments, there is the possibility of creating a
new line through the Black Forest beyond Karlsruhe between Basel, Freiburg and Stuttgart.
This would require a gap to be closed between Elzach and Hausach. This would offer a route
between Basel and Stuttgart with the Rheintal, Elzachtal, Kinzigtal and Gäubahn, which
would considerably reduce the distance. On the railway between Freiburg and Stuttgart, the
distance would be reduced by 27% from 220 to 160km. The implementation of the
15 approximately 18km long gap closure would have to be largely a tunnel, with both an exit in Kirnbach with a switch to the Höllentalbahn or one in Hausach possible. After the permanent extension of the federal highway 28 and the construction of the Lahr airport, this would be one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in the Black Forest.

The northern Black Forest, which is currently still cut off from SPFV, is still particularly dependent on car traffic. As a national park, the possibilities for implementing transport infrastructure projects are also limited. For this reason, it is also unrealistic that high-speed connections through the Black Forest would be planned beyond this gap closure, as it would be extremely questionable from a topographical, environmental, forestry and agricultural point of view and, moreover, would not bring any economic added value for the Black Forest. For the Black Forest, tourism and forestry are a major factor, therefore it can be assumed that every new metre of traffic area will be viewed critically, as there is concern that such projects will endanger the small regional economy. For this reason, the assumption could already be made that the benefit-cost ratio is not particularly high due to a slower routing and that the shift and time saving potential on the SPFV relation Basel-Freiburg-Freudenstadt­Stuttgart is not very different from today. However, it can be assumed that this gap closure via freight traffic as well as with an improvement of the regional connections for the Black Forest can show significant time advantages. With a two-lane expansion and electrification, both speeds could be increased slightly, but especially train capacities. Since 14 November 2021, the entire Elztalbahn has been fully electrified over 19 km after 20 months of construction (cf. Bayer 2021, 13). This already represents the first expansion step on the Baden side. Afterwards, it depends on the purpose for which the gap is to be closed. High speeds can be achieved on the straight section between Freiburg and Elzach by means of a double track, after which a longer tunnel is needed to close the gap. In order not to be dependent on diesel vehicles, electrification is needed between Hausach and Freudenstadt and an additional track or at least double-track islands are needed to overcome the single­track situation. Double-tracking should also be maintained as far as the Gäubahn. On Linieplus it is argued for the use of a new two-hour ICE route to Lyon that the Gäubahn should be upgraded to four tracks for SPFV and that a two-track bypass should be built at Herrenberg (cf. Linieplus 2021). With the northern three-track expansion of the Gäubahn and the southern Rheintalbahn expansion between Freiburg and Basel, the line with tilting technology could in any case become at least a significant alternative route for IC and activate significantly more capacities in SPNV via double-tracking, e.g. a quarter-hourly frequency of regional trains, new connecting lines between Freiburg and Kinzigtal and a new IRE line between Stuttgart and Basel at hourly intervals. In this case a through connection could be made to Nuremberg via the Remsbahn, which is still to be upgraded for Stuttgart 21, or the trains could be allowed to terminate in Stuttgart's terminal station as before.

3.3.1. Travel times

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The time reductions only include the obligatory three-track north extension of the Gäubahn and the south extension of the Rheintalbahn. The Gäubahn extension reduces the journey time by 2 minutes, the Rheintalbahn extension by 6 minutes. With 2h5' the journey time between Basel and Stuttgart would be reduced by 18 minutes.

3.3.2. Shift potential

In contrast to the Rheintalbahn and the Gäubahn, where it was easy to derive the modal shift potential, no data on the Basel-(Freiburg-)Stuttgart planning corridor can be presented from empirical data. The modal shift potential also depends on the timing of the implementation of the expansion measures of the Gäubahn and the Rheintalbahn. The shift potential in SPFV would be low on this route between Basel and Stuttgart, provided that the Rhine Valley Railway is fully upgraded. The Black Forest alignment would then no longer represent a time advantage for long-distance traffic, as it would be eight minutes slower. Freudenstadt could achieve the greatest shift potential from car to rail in SPFV, although it must be made clear that due to the small number of inhabitants, the profitability in SPFV would be questionable. However, if one were to consider the shift potential especially with regard to SPNV, it can be assumed that the relation will improve the inland infrastructure in the Black Forest, the temporal advantages of which could extend to Tübingen: The regional potential of the university locations Freiburg, Tübingen, Basel, Stuttgart and the recently established small one in Freudenstadt could be tapped and thus also be linked more strongly economically. Linkages between the pharmaceutical industry locations of Tübingen, Freiburg and Basel should be taken up, in which an improved logistical interconnection can be achieved via an SGV service and the connection of current places of residence of employees, trainees and students can be strengthened across sectors. It can also be said that in the long term, businesses in the area can be strengthened and these investments also bring advantages for the city from a climate and social policy perspective: they reduce rental pressure and can prevent land consumption and greenfield construction. With its long railway tunnel, the gap closure Elzach-Hausach does not appear to be a classic local transport project, but as a new German-Swiss connection it would offer considerable shift potential, including structural strengthening for the Black Forest. From a political-economic perspective, this railway 17 corridor for the connected cities would make the railway superior to the car not only in terms of climate policy, but also in terms of time and individual economy, and would then also put an end to the debates about new motorways.

3.3.3. Benefit-cost ratio

No benefit-cost ratio can be calculated for the gap closure, as neither traffic data between Stuttgart-Basel, Tübingen-Freiburg and Freudenstadt-(Freiburg-) Basel can be accessed, nor can the costs of the infrastructure measures be estimated.

4. Discussion

It can be determined on the basis of the different calculations that different prioritisations could be made for the development of Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg. It must also be taken into account that the feasibility of the projects admittedly have a different time horizon if individual sections have already been examined by the BMVI and Deutsche Bahn. However, it should be borne in mind that all infrastructure projects will have an impact on each other if they are implemented. The aim of this elaboration was to assess which projects would have considerable potential to accelerate the routes on the one hand and to maximise the modal shift potential for the connection between Germany and Switzerland on the other hand. Basically, it is noticeable that for the SPFV, the expansion possibilities on the Rhine valley railway are the most advanced in terms of planning and offer great time advantages for the rail infrastructure. It can be assumed that the Baden route connection of the Rhine valley railway has clear advantages for the SPFV and will also improve the SPNV beyond that via a future improved frequency compression.

If one looks at the Stuttgart-Zurich route relation, the Gäubahn should be completely double­tracked for SPFV and the three-track system should also be implemented in the Stuttgart S- Bahn area. The large difference in the benefit-cost ratio of the "Singen variant" and the Gäubahn tunnel variant can be explained by the different prioritisation: While the "Singen variant" increases the total train capacities on the entire Gäubahn and thus the frequency can also be increased, both variant proposals of the BMVI continue to have single-track bottlenecks with lower speeds on the Gäubahn. Enormously high investment costs are omitted for a stop at Stuttgart airport and the new underground stop, which will only bring nuances in travel time gains for SPFV. An improved through connection of the Gäubahn via the Remsbahn to Nuremberg would only be possible with the extension of the Remsbahn with tilting technology, which, however, will not be realisable in the short term.

In order to avoid an economically disadvantageous turning time of 90 minutes for the Stuttgart through station, it should be urgently examined whether the Gäubahn trains should continue to turn and terminate in the Stuttgart terminus station. Although the variant "Singen" 18 already allows the best journey time reduction between Zurich and Stuttgart to 2h36', the time savings in SGV and SPFV could be increased even further via the Singen curve, although it would also reduce the transfer potential of Singen.

Not to be underestimated, a double-track alignment Basel-Freiburg-Elzach-Hausach- Freudenstadt-Stuttgart together with electrification would offer a new German-Swiss relation possibility, which is not ostensibly focussed on a travel time reduction in the SPFV between Stuttgart-Basel, but could particularly improve the SPNV in terms of time and thus contribute to a structural strengthening of the Black Forest with new lines to Switzerland. For the Black Forest, which is already deprived of rail transport, this gap closure would be worth considering in terms of transport infrastructure and climate policy, as such a gap closure would only exist on rail and not on road.

Thus, it can be summarised that both the strongest time reductions and modal shift potentials in long-distance passenger rail transport between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland can be achieved on the Rhine Valley railway and that in the Stuttgart-Zurich relation the strongest modal shift potential lies on a modernised, fully dual-track Gäubahn railway. In terms of the benefit-cost ratio, federal policy should consider completing the Rhine Valley railway and upgrading the Gäubahn according to the variant "Singen". The gap closure over the Black Forest, which would represent a new railway hub, should be examined as a possible alternative for a good German-Swiss connection and planned in particular with regard to the regional potentials in SPNV. With these expansion variants, one would at least come closer to fulfilling the Treaty of Lugano from the German side.

List of figures

Fig. 1: Rheintalbahn. Own creation. Graphic base from: Deutsche Bahn (2021). Karte des Ausbau- und Neubauprojekts Karlsruhe-Basel mit gegenwärtigen Status und (geplanten) Inbetriebnahmedaten der Planfeststellungsabschnitte (PfA). Published on 22 February 2021.

Fig. 2: Gäubahn. Own creation. Graphic base from: Blum, Salem/ Brand, Torsten/ Büker, Thorsten/ Stahl, Sebastian (2016). Gutachten zu Fahrzeitverkürzungen auf dem internationalen Korridor Stuttgart - Zürich. Final report dated 31 August 2016 with supplements dated 9 September 2016. Ernst Basler + Partner AG. Zurich. P. 1.

Fig. 3: Gap closure Elzach-Hausach. Graphic base from: Ministry of transport Baden- Württemberg (2021). Auswahl zentraler Maßnahmen zur Verdopplung des ÖPNV bis 2030. Erste Einschätzung des Ministeriums für Verkehr zu den Empfehlungen der ÖPNV- Zukunftskommission. Published on 28 January 2021. Stuttgart.


All links were checked for functionality on 15 November 2021.

Arnoldi, Klaus (2020). Die Kappung der Gäubahn ist unnötig. In: Bahn-Report. Issue 2/2020. P. 8-10.

Bayer, Nikolaus (2021). Die Elztalbahn fährt jetzt wieder - und häufiger als bisher - nach Elzach. In: Badische Zeitung from 15 November 2021. P. 13.

BMVI (2015). Verkehrsverflechtungsprognose 2030 sowie Netzumlegungen auf die Verkehrsträger Los 5: Netzumlegung Schiene. Schlussbericht 27.02.2015. BVU Beratergruppe Verkehr + Umwelt GmbH/ Intraplan Consult GmbH/ Ingenieurgruppe IVV GmbH & Co. KG / Planco Consulting GmbH. Berlin. URL: https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Anlage/G/verkehrsverflechtungsprognose-2030- schlussbericht-los-5.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

BMVI (2018a). Projektinformationssystem (PRINS) zum Bundesverkehrswegeplan 2030. Projektinfo 2-005-V02. ABS/NBS Karlsruhe - Basel (BAB-Trasse). URL: https://www.bvwp- projekte.de/schiene/2-005-V02/2-005-V02.html

BMVI (2018b). Projektinformationssystem (PRINS) zum Bundesverkehrswegeplan 2030. Projektinfo 2-005-v01. ABS/NBS Karlsruhe - Basel (Antragstrasse). URL: https://www.bvwp- projekte.de/schiene/2-005-v01/2-005-v01.html

BMVI (2018b). Projektinformationssystem (PRINS) zum Bundesverkehrswegeplan 2030. Projektinfo 2-040-V01. ABS Stuttgart - Singen - Grenze D/CH (Gäubahn). URL: https://www.bvwp-projekte.de/schiene_2018/2-040-V01/2-040-V01.html

BMVI (2021a). Bundesverkehrswegeplan 2030 - Teil Schiene Projektdossier Planfall 040b. Published on 8 March 2021.Transport Solution GmbH/ Intraplan Consut GmbH. Berlin.

BMVI (2021b). Gemeinsame Absichtserklärung zwischen dem Eidgenössischen Departement für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft und dem Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zur Steigerung der Leistungsfähigkeit der Zulaufstrecken zur neuen Eisenbahn-Alpentransversale (NEAT). URL: https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Anlage/E/abkommen-von- lugano.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

Blum, Salem/ Brand, Torsten/ Büker, Thorsten/ Stahl, Sebastian (2016). Gutachten zu Fahrzeitverkürzungen auf dem internationalen Korridor Stuttgart - Zürich. Final report dated 31 August 2016 with supplements dated 9 September 2016. Ernst Basler + Partner AG. Zurich.

Brunecker, Frank (2013). Die schwäbische Eisenbahn. 1st edition. Biberacher Verlagsdruckerei. Biberach.

Electronic Official Journal of the European Union (2016). Germany-Karlsruhe: Technical planning services for traffic facilities. 2016/S 017-026671. Contract notice - Utilities sectors. Directive 2004/17/EC. Published on 26 January 2016. URL: https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:26671-2016:TEXT:DE:HTML&tabId=1

Geißler, Heiner (2011). Frieden in Stuttgart - Eine Kompromiss-Lösung zur Befriedung der Auseinandersetzung um Stuttgart 21. SMA und Partner AG.

Grossherzoglich-Badisches Staats- und Regierungs-Blatt (1838). Gesetz betr. die Erbauung einer Eisenbahn von Mannheim bis an die Schweizer Grenze bei Basel. Volume 36. P. 121­122.

Hermann, Winfried (2021). Vorstellung Machbarkeitsstudie Ergänzungsstation Stuttgart Hbf. Published on 15 June 2016. Obermayer Infrastruktur GmbH. Stuttgart. URL: https://vm.baden-wuerttemberg.de/fileadmin/redaktion/m- mvi/intern/Dateien/PDF/PM_Anhang/210615_Pr%C3%A4sentation_Ergebnisse_Machbarkeit sstudie_Erg%C3%A4nzungsstation.pdf

Jehle, Stephan (2021). Schienenverkehr zwischen der Schweiz und Deutschland - „Wir haben nicht annähernd geliefert“. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung from 7 September 2021. P. 7.


Published on 5 May 2020. URL: https://linieplus.de/proposal/abs-nbs-basel-freiburg- schwarzwald-stuttgart/

Ministry of transport Baden-Württemberg (2021). Auswahl zentraler Maßnahmen zur Verdopplung des ÖPNV bis 2030. Erste Einschätzung des Ministeriums für Verkehr zu den Empfehlungen der ÖPNV-Zukunftskommission. Published on 28 January 2021. Stuttgart. URL: https://vm.baden-wuerttemberg.de/fileadmin/redaktion/m- mvi/intern/Dateien/PDF/PM_Anhang/210128_ANLAGE3_PM_%C3%96PNV- Zukunftskommission_Auswahl_zentraler_Ma%C3%9Fnahmen_Ministerium_f%C3%BCr_Ver kehr_BW.pdf

Publication platform of the federal law of the Swiss Confederation (1996). Agreement between the Head of the Federal Department of Transport and Department of Transport and Energy and the Federal Minister for Transport of the Federal Republic of Germany to securethe efficiency of the access to the new transalpine railway line (NEAT) in Switzerland. Entry into force on 2 June 1998. URL: https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2000/280/de

Research group of ETH Zurich (2014). Ermittlung von Bewertungsansätzen für Reisezeiten und Zuverlässigkeit auf der Basis eines Modells für modale Verlagerungen im nicht­gewerblichen und gewerblichen Personenverkehr für die Bundesverkehrswegeplanung. FE- Project-Nr. 96.996/2011. Institute for Transport Planning and System. ETH Zürich. TNS Infratest. Zurich.

Staiger, Walter (2018). Kritik am ICE-Anschluss des Flughafens. Statement of the regional association of ProBahn Baden-Württemberg. URL: https://www.pro-bahn- bw.de/rvregionstuttgart/stgt21/flughafen_s21.pdf

VCD Baden-Württemberg (2021). Gäubahn-Anbindung für 1,5 Mio. oder 1,5 Mrd. Euro? Verkehrsclub plädiert im Vorfeld der Stuttgart21-Lenkungskreissitzung für den Erhalt der Gäubahn. Press release. Published on 13 October 2021. Stuttgart. URL: https://bw.vcd.org/startseite/detail/news/Gäubahn-anbindung-fuer-15-mio-oder-15-mrd-euro- verkehrsclub-plaediert-im-vorfeld-der-stuttgart21/

Walter, Eva/ Pfündel, Thomas (1988). Die Gäubahn zwischen Hauptbahnhof und Vaihingen. In: Supplement in the official gazette of the state capital Stuttgart. Issue 30. Published on 28 July 1988. Stuttgart.

Waßmuth, Volker (2017). Wissenschaftliche Beratung des BMVI zur Mobilitäts- und Kraftstoffstrategie - Teilstudie „Maßnahmen zur Steigerung des Anteils des Schienenpersonenfernverkehrs in der Fläche“. PTV Transport Consult GmbH. Karlsruhe


I. Calculation for the Gäubahn

Travel times

The reduced journey times on the route are based on the following assumptions.

The basic assumption is the adoption of the scenario listed in Blum et al. (2016) on how the time can be reduced to 2h38' without the Singener Kurve (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 43). In addition, the following assumptions are made:

Elimination of the airport station (cf. Staiger 2018, 1): 120s

Double track Sulz - Grünholz on 4.7 km, assumed speed increase from 100 to 110 km/h (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 30): 15s

Expansion of the north end of Epfendorf (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 30 f.): 0s

Double track Epfendorf - Talhausen on 7.7 km, assumed speed increase from 110 to 120 km/h (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 31): 21s

Double track Neufra - Aldingen (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 32 f.): 0s

Expansion of Aldingen station to 0.7 km, speed increase from 80 to 100 km/h (cf. Blum et al. 2016, 33): 6s

In total, this corresponds to a reduction of 157s, generously shortened to 2 min. Staiger (2018) also notes that Stuttgart 21 will lead to travel time increases in the Stuttgart area. For example, a routing on the current Gäubahn with a 20 min journey time to Böblingen is shorter than the 22 min envisaged via the Rohrer Kurve, which could also only be achieved with ICE trains (cf. Staiger 2018, 1).

Shift potential

The shift potential from private to public transport should be investigated for selected routes, as was also done by the BMVI for the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan. For this purpose, shifts from road to rail were estimated in terms of relations using a mode choice model. The basis for the demand effects are roughly assumed improvements with regard to the criteria travel time ratio MIV/SPFV and the need to change trains in SPFV. The results of these studies can be used to show the modal split shift effects of the service improvements on the individual routes.

So far, there is only one study that has calculated the modal shift potential for cross-border passenger transport. In the partial study by Waßmuth (2017) published for the Federal Ministry of Transport, the modal shift potential in passenger transport between the two states is said to be 351 thousand pkm/a( cf. Waßmuth 2017, 32). In the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, the modal shift potential was shown for both passenger and freight transport, which is, however, limited to modal shift effects on the German side.

In the calculation of the variant "Singen", apart from a few deviations, the same modal shift effects are assumed as in the BVWP planning. The following adjustments were assumed. Since the modal shifts between MIT and SPFV are to be determined in this study, only the modes of transport MIT and rail were considered here, so that the sum of the modal split values of these two modes of transport is 100 % (Waßmuth 2017, 29). Thus, the reference case means rail travel times based on the 2015 timetable and the plan case represents travel times with improvements.

Since the modal shift potential for a 45-minute time improvement is 9.1% (absolute: 351 thousand pkm/a) of the MIV trips, for one hour, 12.1% (absolute 469 thousand pkm/a) should be assumed. Consequently, a benefit-cost analysis can also be carried out here.

For simplified reasons, linear growth was assumed for the modal shift potential via the reduction in travel time. The value calculated for the variant "Singen" is the same factor as the "indication" of "linear" for the Gäubahn tunnel.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The calculation of the shift potential to rail freight is somewhat more complicated. The change of direction in the variant "Singen" due to the new connecting curve has an impact on the journey time because it still provides for a locomotive change. The BMVI always calculates with 8 minutes of standing time for a locomotive change with head turning (cf. BMVI 2015, 77). This should be added to the journey time of the SPV, but there is already a six-minute head-end change at Singen station. Consequently, the journey time changes from 156 to 158 minutes. The reference value is variant 2-040b, in which the journey time is 4 minutes shorter due to the Singen curve.

At 154 minutes, the shift potential corresponds to 798,794, which is why a linear assumption is made that at 158 minutes the potential is only 755,616.

Benefit-cost ratio Variant „Singen“

The following differences can be found in the benefit ratio in SPFV for the variant "Singen" compared to the Gäubahn tunnel variant:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Ende der Leseprobe aus 30 Seiten


Potential Analysis between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland in Rail Transport
Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen; Standort Geislingen  (Fakultät Wirtschaft und Recht)
Research Methods
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
Potential analysis, Switzerland, Basel, Zurich, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Rheintalbahn, Gäubahn, Rhine, Elzach, Black forest, Public transportation, Sustainable, Mobilities, NEAT, Lugano, Treaty, Baden-Württemberg, Potenzialanalyse, Nahverkehr, Benefit-cost-ratio, Nutzen-Kosten-Verhältnis, Ringschluss, Infrastructure
Arbeit zitieren
Florian Wondratschek (Autor:in), 2021, Potential Analysis between Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland in Rail Transport, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1189449


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