As the proud owner of a nine-euro ticket, it hurts my soul how badly, even hatefully, people talk about Deutsche Bahn in Munich – and that’s only because the construction of the second main route will take a measly nine years longer than planned and the cost doubles. My goodness, Rome wasn’t built in a day either. And when you consider that Cologne Cathedral was only completed after a good 600 years, nine years is a blink of an eye.
But no, everyone in Munich complains about the train, even though they should know that it is an impeccable, top-reputable company that does its job of bringing people there with considerable delays from there to there with flying colors. And who hasn’t raved about the train’s on-board kitchen, which is awarded Michelin Guide stars and Gault Millau chef’s hats every year? In order to be able to enjoy the lentil stew refined with sausage, gourmets like to book a train journey from Garmisch to Flensburg.
From the chairman of the board to the kitchen help, the railway is in a first-class position, nothing can go wrong. If, despite this, a train or a construction project is delayed, whenever other powers are involved, such as fate, the weather, Pumuckl or the traditionally incompetent Minister of Transport. At the beginning of the second regular route it was like bewitched. It could even be that the railway engineers, who also have Stuttgart 21 under their belt, initially added the Munich route to the Stuttgart city map.
Wrong, of course, something like that can happen. Granted, the story doesn’t have to be true. But if it did, the error would have been known during the assessment by Bahn boss Lutz. Of course, such a top manager knows that the Neckar does not flow through Munich, but the Inn – or any other river with an “I”.
In the fall, Lutz promised, Deutsche Bahn will present new figures. Then the people of Munich will know exactly when the second regular route will be ready. A prognosis has already been leaked: the tube will be completed on time. As punctual as you are used to from the train. Of course, it is impossible to predict more precisely, because nobody knows whether the tunnel boring machine will come out where it is supposed to, and not in Milbertshofen or Grünwald. Drilling like this is always a matter of luck and at least as difficult as the moon landing or the rehabilitation of the Gasteig.
But there are optimists who are confident that the new tube will already be available for Munich’s 900th anniversary in June 2058 – initially only as a cycle path. The rails will be installed later. Small planning error, occurs in the best establishments. But there is now certainty about the costs.
They will hardly be higher than the 100 billion package to upgrade the Bundeswehr, provided Andi Scheuer does not become transport minister again. All in all, the overall planning is so convincing that Prime Minister Söder is considering commissioning the railway company to build the Munich concert hall. This would ensure that nothing will come of it.