Construction work from mid-July Major disruptions for commuters between Cologne and Bonn

Rhein-Sieg-District/Bonn · Those who commute between Bonn and Cologne will need lots of patience starting this Saturday. The culprit is construction work north of Bonn. Alternate means will be needed for those who want to travel to Bonn.

 A big construction project: On the left side of the Rhine, the overhead lines will be renewed.

A big construction project: On the left side of the Rhine, the overhead lines will be renewed.

Foto: Axel Vogel/AXEL VOGEL

Train travelers between Bonn, the Vorgebirge and Cologne have to be prepared for massive limitations during the summer holidays - starting this Saturday, July 18, until Saturday, August 15. This is due to extensive construction work along the route, the information having previously been provided by representatives of Deutsche Bahn and the Rhineland Regional Transport Association (NVR).

It will have an impact on local and long-distance transport in the region. The city of Bonn will be more difficult to reach from the north during the construction phase, and buses will often fill in as a replacement for rail services (SEV). Passengers need to be prepared for the following changes during this period:

  • RE5: The RE5 is cancelled between Bonn and Sechtem, but replacement buses will be running. During the construction work, the RE5 will also stop in Sechtem to travel to or from the north. In the direction of Koblenz, there will be no stop in Cologne South until August 9. On July 29th, the regional express will not stop between Bonn and Cologne, but there will be a replacement service between Bonn and Hürth-Kalscheuren, with a connection to RE22/RB24.
  • RB26: This line will be cancelled between Sechtem and Bonn, but there will be buses running. Between Cologne and Sechtem as well as Bonn and Remagen the trains run at slightly different times. From Cologne to Sechtem there will be no stops in Cologne West and Cologne South until August 9. There will be no night service between Cologne and Bonn. On July 29, the regional trains between Cologne and Bonn will also be cancelled. It should be noted that there will be some line swaps between Mittelrheinbahn and National Express. National Express takes over some of the RB26's routes between Sechtem and Cologne-Dellbrück. The routes of the RE 5 line between Koblenz and Bonn are taken over by the Mittelrheinbahn. This means that it will be important for passengers to pay attention to the designated line markings rather than the actual train.
  • RB48: The line RB48 between Cologne and Bonn-Mehlem will not run.
  • Eifel line: The trains on the Eifel line run in the direction of Euskirchen without stopping at Cologne-West and Cologne-South. In the morning and evening some additional trains will be cancelled. Affected here are the lines RE 12, RE 22 and RB 24.
  • RB30: The Ahrtalbahn will be cancelled due to construction work on the platform in Oberwinter between Bonn and Remagen.
  • Long-distance trains: Long-distance trains will not stop at Cologne Central Station, Bonn Central Station, Remagen and Andernach. As an alternative, the trains with changed travel times stop in Köln-Messe/Deutz, the IC and EC trains additionally stop in Beuel. There are no direct ICE connections to and from Berlin between Bonn and Cologne. The ICE trains on the high-speed line on the right bank of the Rhine are not affected.
  • Replacement bus service: Between Bonn and Sechtem, articulated buses will be running to replace rail traffic. The buses will run every 15 minutes and stop in Bonn at the bus stop Colmantstraße/Hauptbahnhof. Of these, two buses per hour will run as direct buses without a stop in Roisdorf. In addition, there will be some trips between Bonn and Hürth-Kalscheuren. On July 29th, buses will also run direct without stops between Bonn and Hürth-Kalscheuren.

NVR managing director Heiko Sedlaczek admitted that these are severe disruptions for passengers. However, he said that the work was urgently needed and that the NVR welcomed any investment in the rail infrastructure.

Urgent renewal of overhead power lines

The overhead power lines will be renewed in three construction phases over a total length of 25 kilometers. The existing system was built in 1958 and, according to Thomas Kayser, project manager at Deutsche Bahn, is in urgent need of renewal. With more than 350 train trips a day (local, long-distance and freight traffic), the outdated technology between Bonn and Cologne is overloaded according to Kayser. "We had to take urgent action", he says.

In preparatory work, the railway has already built the foundations for 320 new overhead line masts and erected most of the new steel masts. During the summer holidays, the fastenings and fittings will be attached to the masts on the line sections and contact wires installed. Barriers are also being renewed on four bridges in order to better shield the safety area to the new overhead line. According to Kayser, three large specialist companies are working simultaneously on this project. The work is not particularly noisy, and the loudest work phases are to take place during the day.

According to Kayser, this will be accompanied by preliminary work for the installation of a new train control system and final work on the noise protection walls in Roisdorf. According to Deutsche Bahn, the modernization of the overhead line system will cost 18 million euros in 2020 alone.

Stickers, banners and posters in trains and stations will inform passengers about the construction work. In addition, according to the NVR, the changes are already reflected in the online information systems.

Orig. text: Christoph Meurer

Translation: ck

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