It is a real major project of Deutsche Bahn AG: the upgraded Munich-Mühldorf-Freilassing line (ABS 38). 145 kilometres are to be electrified throughout and upgraded to double track in many parts. The goals of the expansion are as far-reaching as the individual construction measures. The project comprises a whole bundle of coordinated sub-projects that extend from the Munich metropolitan area through the south-east of Bavaria to the German-Austrian border region.

DB Netze AG regularly provides information on the project in dialogue forums. This was also the case on 17 July 2023 with municipal representatives from the south-east Bavarian region in the fully booked InfoCenter in Mühldorf. The forum was dedicated to the special topic of "traction current". This plays a major role in some sections of the upgraded line. The organisers had invited a proven expert in the field of traction current as a guest speaker: Prof. Arnd Stephan from the TU Dresden. He is head of the Chair of Electric Railways at the "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences.

Where trains still run on diesel today, they will be electric in the future. But how does the electricity actually get to the track? What is so special about traction current? And what does that mean for the people along the 38 Munich-Mühldorf-Freilassing line? Prof. Dr. Stephan went into this in depth in his lecture as well as in the subsequent round of questions. "Modern railway means: a lot - fast - electric!" was the message he sent out first. The electric operation of the railway through thin wires suspended above the tracks is an extremely simple concept and the technology is unbeaten - for more than 100 years. "Where the railway is any good, it is electric," the Dresden railway expert emphasised.

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Note: Source of the information and links used in the text: DB Netze AG


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Arnd Stephan
Head of the Chair of Electric Railways
"Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, TU Dresden
Mail: arnd.stephan@​