According to a report in “Spiegel”, Deutsche Bahn is postponing the opening of the new Stuttgart Central Station until December 2026.

Germany’s most controversial railway project will be delayed for another year, the news magazine reported on Monday, citing sources in the railway company.

When asked, a railway spokesman said that the railway would – as already announced – provide detailed information on the 2026 timetable concept on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, a meeting of the railway project’s steering committee will take place in Stuttgart, at which the railway will inform the project partners about its plans to commission Stuttgart 21. The railway will provide information about the 2026 annual timetable at the meeting, a railway spokesman said in mid-May.

It had long been unclear when the new station would go into operation. In March, Deutsche Bahn announced that the existing Stuttgart main station would remain in operation at least until 2026. This was actually supposed to be replaced by the new underground station in December 2025. Deutsche Bahn must decide whether, and if so to what extent, trains will be able to run through the new underground station from December 2025 at the latest 18 months before the start of the new timetable – i.e. by June 2024 for the timetable change in December 2025.

The Stuttgart 21 project not only represents the construction of the new main station in the state capital, but also the complete reorganization of the Stuttgart rail hub. New stations are being built – such as a new long-distance station at the airport – dozens of kilometers of railway lines and tunnels, culverts and bridges. In addition to Stuttgart 21, the Stuttgart-Ulm rail project also includes the construction of the Wendlingen-Ulm high-speed line, which will open in 2022. The heart of Stuttgart 21 is the new underground main station, which, unlike the previous terminus station, will be a through station.

The railway, which is officially the developer of Stuttgart 21, estimates the cost of the project at around eleven billion euros and has also budgeted for a buffer of around 500 million euros. There have been several significant cost increases in recent years. According to a court ruling, the railway must bear the billions in additional costs, currently at least 6.5 billion euros, on its own. At the beginning of May, the Stuttgart Administrative Court dismissed the lawsuits brought by several railway companies against the state of Baden-Württemberg, the city of Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Region Association and Stuttgart Airport. With the lawsuits, the DB wanted to ensure that the project partners contribute financially to the additional costs.