The German city of Stuttgart has taken a step closer to becoming what it hopes will be ‘the new heart of Europe’ as the next stage of a huge rail and underground development was officially launched.
The Stuttgart 21 project, as it is officially known, is an essential part of a plan to modernise the link between Paris, Vienna and ultimately Budapest.
While Stuttgart is to get a new underground station, a no less spectacular part of the project is an 84-kilometre high-speed line to Ulm, running parallel to the A8 Autobahn.
However, objections have been raised by some over rising costs and environmental concerns.
Micheal Holzhey of KCW Enterprises is among them.
“The only positive advantage is a shortening of travel time, but it comes mainly from the newly-built section from Stuttgart to Ulm, not from the underground station,” he said.
But supporters say the Stuttgart project will employ the latest architectural techniques and although being built 12 metres below ground, will even allow sunlight to penetrate down to track level.