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This follows the announcement on November 29 by the airport’s CEO Mr Engelbert Lütke Daldrup that the airport will finally open on October 31 2020.
“We had already completed our tracks and platform facilities in time for the original scheduled opening date in October 2011 and we will be ready again when the flights begin,” says Mr Alexander Kaczmarek, DB’s authorised representative for the State of Berlin.
DB built 18.5km of new line for long-distance and regional service and 8.6km of track to extend the S-Bahn from Schönefeld Airport to Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The airport station has four tracks with 405m-long platforms for regional and long-distance trains and two tracks with a 152.5m-long platform for the S-Bahn.
The airport project has been delayed by numerous problems including the bankruptcy of the construction planning company in 2010. The following year, major issues were discovered with the airport’s fire protection and alarm system and a 30% cost overrun was revealed. In 2015, a former airport employee was convicted of accepting bribes from the company that installed the fire protection system. In 2018, TÜV discovered more than 800 wiring violations.
Since 2011, DB has had to continuously monitor and maintain the new facilities for safe operation and has been running empty trains to keep the tunnels and station ventilated. Before flights commence, a joint rescue exercise is planned in April 2020 for the station and airport terminal involving 700 volunteers.
Journey times by rail to the centre of Berlin will be 35 minutes for Airport Express services and 51 minutes by S-Bahn. However, the Airport Express journey time will be reduced to 20 minutes when DB completes a project to lay two additional tracks for regional and long-distance trains alongside the existing S-Bahn tracks on the Dresden main line.
Preliminary work on the Dresden line scheme began in October 2017 on sections (Abschnitt on the map) 1, 2 and 4 of the project, with the official start of the main construction work beginning in February 2019. Plans for section 3 through Mahlow and Blankenfelde were approved in August 2019.
Map showing the phases for the Dresden line upgrade project and the rail links to Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
Since demand has increased compared with original forecast of 125,000 passengers in 2012, DB says signalling upgrades to increase efficiency are planned in time for the completion of the Dresden line project.
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