The railway wants to get away from small construction sites where tracks are rehabilitated during ongoing traffic. Instead, rehabilitation is now being carried out in blocks – and the line is completely closed during this time. In Bavaria, the Munich-Rosenheim-Salzburg line is among the 40 lines that the railway has identified as “high-performance lines” in need of renovation. This is scheduled for renewal in 2027.
The line, which is used by meridian trains between Munich and Salzburg or Kufstein and long-distance trains from or to Vienna and Italy, is to be completely renovated in two sections. This was reported by Wolfgang Weinhold, programme manager for the general renovation of the high-performance network, to ProBahn representatives during an online presentation on 20 February 2023. The Federal Ministry of Transport still has to approve the plan.
According to the plan, the Munich Ostbahnhof-Rosenheim line will be refurbished for five months in the first half of the year. In the second half of the year, it will be the turn of the Rosenheim-Freilassing line. The railway wants to replace sleepers, ballast, tracks, switches, signals and the overhead line. Signal boxes and stations will also be renovated. Platform heights will be adjusted and lifts retrofitted. In addition, the line will be retrofitted with the new train control system ETCS.
This will enable shorter intervals between trains and increase the capacity of the line. In addition, passing tracks are planned in Prien and Kirchseeon. The current slow-moving sections will then be a thing of the past. In addition, points that have so far been replaced by an identical model will be replaced by modern designs. Some tracks could also be laid better than before, so that somewhat higher speeds would also be possible, says Weinhold.
For commuters and tourists, the general renovation means a test of patience. The railway wants to hire 120 buses that will move from major construction site to major construction site over the years. This will require 350 to 450 drivers. The frequency of the rail replacement service is to be higher than that of the trains. After completion of the measure, the trains should run on time again – and, if possible, no more construction sites should disrupt operations for ten years.