BONN/RHEIN-SIEG DISTRICT Suburban trains will run every five minutes on the main routes between Bonn and the region: this is what the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district are planning to do this from 2023. However, the concept still has to make it through the political committees.
A resolution that the joint planning committee of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district unanimously passed on Thursday without ifs and buts was that in 2023, suburban trains will travel on the main traffic routes every five minutes. The SWBV (Bonn transport public utility company) and Electric Trains of the City of Bonn und the Rhein-Sieg-District (SSB) have been commissioned to order 22 new high-floor light-rail train vehicles to double the frequency on routes 16, 63, 66 and 67 to five minutes during peak traffic hours. Mayor Ashok Sridharan and District Administrator Sebastian Schuster expect this to be introduced into the 2023 timetables.
The committee, which met in Bonn's Town Hall on Thursday evening, deliberately deleted restrictions and references to financial compensation from the submission document of the administration. “We want to use the millions of euros of investment to increase the frequency of trains on the existing routes. Unfortunately, new routes take much longer to build. Whether one of the many desired express routes between the ICE railway station in Siegburg and Bonn will be possible, has to be decided after consideration of the advantages and disadvantages, shortly before the delivery of the train vehicles”, said the chairman of the Bonn planning committee Rolf Beu (Green Party). “The number of suburban rail vehicles in the region will then reach an unprecedented level.” Questions of financial sharing between the city and its subsidiary utility companies would later be “ongoing business in proceedings”.
This will increase the current fleet of 76 vehicles to 98 vehicles. The new trains will also be needed, because the currently offered service cannot be improved with the existing fleet. As reported, the overlap of two routes on each of the heavily frequented branches of the lines Tannenbusch (16/63), Siegburg (66/67), Ramersdorf (63/66) and Bad Godesberg (16/67), will result in an expanded service with twelve trains per hour and direction at peak times (five-minute intervals) and six trains per hour and direction during the day and at weekends.
Not only trains on lines 16, 63, 66 and 67 will increase in frequency
Additional direct connections, such as line 67 during the whole day between Siegburg, Sankt Augustin, Beuel, Bonn and Bad Godesberg will be introduced. As an option, it will be considered whether to use further vehicles to increase the frequency of the line 18 service (via Dransdorf, Bornheim and Brühl to Cologne) and the extension of line 63 to Buschdorf Gewerbepark. Beu has also suggestion that an extension of this line to the North cemetery should be considered. According to the Bonn CDU city councillors Jürgen Wehlus and Georg Schäfer, a new Park & Ride facility there could be an incentive for commuters from the region to leave their vehicles there and then take the train.
An amendment to the resolution provides for a study to examine “compensatory measures” for cyclists and pedestrians at the eleven restricted crossings in the Sankt Augustiner area. “We are fully behind increasing the frequency of trains, but we must also consider the consequences for our city”, said Norbert Chauvistré, CDU district councillor from Sankt Augustin. Ingo Steiner (Green Party), chairman of the district planning committee, also accepts the problems in traffic mangement. A new underpass has already been created in front of the Huma market.
(Original text: Dylan Cem Akalin, translation John Chandler)