Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg give the green light for the analysis of the potential of the Southern Mecklenburg-Prignitz route network ("Südbahn")

Press release of the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labour
Meyer and Beermann: Cross-Länder Cooperation for Attractive Local Public Transport

Schwerin, 29.08.2023, Today, the Ministers of Transport of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg signed a declaration of intent in Schwerin to conduct a joint study of the southern Mecklenburg-Prignitz rail network. The common goal of both states is - in a first step of a two-stage investigation approach - to commission an analysis of the traffic potential and the resulting need for modernisation and expansion for the routes in northern Brandenburg and southern Mecklenburg ("Karower Kreuz") in order to realise an economically viable transport service. The economic viability will be assessed in a second step in a separate report.

"With the cross-border study, the potentials for the use of the existing rail infrastructure in the South Mecklenburg-Prignitz network, which is to be modernised, and for the realisation of an economically viable transport offer in an enlarged study area are determined. The aim is to create a future for the lines around the "Karower Kreuz" - on the north-south axis between Güstrow and Neustadt (Dosse) in Brandenburg and on the east-west axis between Waren (Müritz) and Parchim - and thus attractive mobility offers for people in rural areas. In the process, not only the potential of local rail passenger transport (SPNV) in connection with the municipal offers of road-based local public transport (sÖPNV), but also the opportunities for freight transport and the use of alternative forms of propulsion are to be considered," says Economics and Transport Minister Reinhard Meyer.

Guido Beermann, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Planning of the State of Brandenburg: "With the holistic examination of the SPNV relation from the Berlin area via Neustadt/Dosse and Meyenburg across the state border to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, we want to secure the future of the RB 73 and RB 74 railway lines. The existing services on this route do not fully exploit their potential, as the current infrastructure does not allow for attractive services. For the necessary expansion of the infrastructure, we need a concept that is sustainable in the long term, which takes into account the supra-regional connection of Prignitz and Ostprignitz-Ruppin, also beyond the state border and thus also to the tourist destinations of the Mecklenburg Lake District up to the Baltic Sea coast. This requires a cost-benefit analysis in order to be able to acquire the corresponding GVFG federal funds for upgrading the infrastructure. I am pleased that after many years of discussion we can now go down this path together with Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania".

Common approach

Both Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg have pointed out the importance of the study on transport in southern Mecklenburg and the Prignitz in their statements on the 4th expert draft of the Deutschland-Takt. With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the responsible ministers of both states, the most important key data of the joint two-stage study are set down. First, the current transport offers will be evaluated and a potential analysis based on the expected demand in the areas of passenger and freight transport will be prepared, on the basis of which a suitable offer concept and investment requirements for the infrastructure will be derived. Based on this, the cost-benefit analysis for the potential infrastructure measure is carried out.

Decisions and measures within the framework of the preparation and implementation of the awarding process, including the awarding of the contract, are generally made and implemented unanimously by all the public transport authorities involved. The Verkehrsverband Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH is in charge of the tendering and awarding of the expert opinions.

Mobility Offensive MV

Depending on the results of the study, the expansion of the southern railway is also included as an option in the MV mobility offensive launched in spring 2023. In order to allow the SPNV to penetrate further into rural areas, the reactivation of further railway lines - in addition to the already known major projects Darßbahn and Usedomer Südanbindung - will be examined and investigated.