Suspected fraud in the construction of the ICE route Ulm-Stuttgart
GThe public prosecutor’s office is investigating against several construction companies involved in the construction of the Filstal Bridge on the new ICE route Stuttgart-Wendlingen-Ulm Stuttgart on suspicion of commercial and gang fraud. This was confirmed by the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart on Tuesday after a report by SWR. The Filstal Bridge is the most symbolic building on the new line. At 85 meters high, it is the third highest railway bridge in Germany and connects the Bossler and Aichelberg tunnels.
The route was put into operation on November 11th when the timetable changed. A spokesman for the Stuttgart public prosecutor said there was a suspicion that more workers and more material had been billed than was actually needed for the construction. The investigators of the public prosecutor’s office checked whether construction books had been manipulated. Six suspects are being investigated. They had been in contact with six companies independent of the railway.
Amount could be three times as much
The bridge was initially calculated at a cost of 50.1 million euros. According to the SWR report, the amount could now be three times as high, also because renegotiations apparently had to be carried out with the construction companies. A spokesman for the planning company responsible for the Stuttgart 21 project told the FAZ: “The railway is not being investigated. We do not comment on ongoing investigations.” If there are any cost increases, these are covered by the total value of 3.9 billion euros approved by the Deutsche Bahn Supervisory Board.
Shortly after the ICE route was commissioned, there were two disruptions due to a defective switch and an operating error by a train driver. “Since then, traffic has run smoothly. Recently, all trains had to be diverted from the old route to the new one, which speaks for their efficiency,” said the project spokesman. However, the structural condition and the low capacity of the Ulm main station are often criticized.