Dialogue: it's what we do 

Communicating with local people in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein is very important to us. We're here to answer any questions you might have. Just ask us what you want to know. This webpage gives you an overview of the kind of communication activities we have already performed. More events and opportunities for dialogue are planned for the future. This is the place where you'll hear about them first. 

S4 ad

Ad for the S4 

Our dialogue with you

  • Information stalls for commuters, local residents and other members of the public in Rahlstedt and Wandsbek, July 2015
  • Citizens' consultations at various locations along the route: nine times in 2015, eight in 2016, seven in 2017
  • Residents' events in Tonndorf and Rahlstedt, 2016
  • Public event at Am Alten Posthaus 4 (Wandsbek's public hall), April 2016
  • Residents'event in Ahrensburg, May 2016
  • Information events for planning approval sections 1 (2017) and 2 (2018) in Wandsbek
  • Stand at the NordBau trade fair in Neumünster (2017 - 2022) and the Connecting Europe Days in Lyon (2022)
  • Panel discussion about freight transport in Wandsbek, October 2017
  • Infobus:  Wandsbek-Markt, April 2018, and Ahrensburg (Grosse Strasse), July 2018

Looking back at  different events between 2017-2021 

 Tag der Schiene 2022
A few days after the opening of the Info Train, we celebrated the "Tag der Schiene". On Friday, 16 September, we opened our doors for you all day from 10 am to 4 pm. Experts from the project team were on hand to answer questions. Thank you very much for your numerous attendance and participation in the offered site tours!

Bild EÖ

DB Netz AG

7-11 September 2022Thank you for visiting us at the NordBau trade fair in Neumünster, northern Germany's largest such event for the construction sector.
This year, we again showcased the S4 along with other construction projects in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
 

S4 on the road in Europe: Connecting Europe Days 2022 in Lyon
In June, the project was presented at the Connecting Europe Days in Lyon. Deutsche Bahn and the Hanseatic City of Hamburg together represented the important transport project for northern Germany and Europe.

"Connecting Europe", connecting people and metropolitan regions - this is not only the motto of the S4. At the exhibition, visitors had the opportunity to get to know various EU-funded projects. The focus lay on forward-looking innovations in transport, infrastructure and traffic as well as environmentally friendly mobility.

S4 Overall Project Manager Amina Karam, who herself speaks fluent French, English, Arabic and German, was on site. During presentations, panel talks and in the exhibition hall, she met with representatives from politics, industry and the European Commission and presented the project together with the City of Hamburg on the European stage. Hamburg's Transport Senator Anjes Tjarks also visited the S4 on site. 

CED

DB Netz AG / Symbios GmbH

Hamburg's Transport Senator Anjes Tjarks visited the S4 stand (from left to right: Overall Project Manager Amina Karam, Symbios Managing Director Torsten Heid, Hamburg's Transport Senator Anjes Tjarks)

CED 2022

Symbios GmbH

From left to right: Torsten Heid (Symbios GmbH), General Project Director Amina Karam and Andreas Boschen, until June 2022 sub-department head of the Executive agency for Innovation and Networks (INEA) at the EU Commission, at the S4 stand

Messestand S4

Symbios GmbH

The S4 at the Connecting Europe Days 2022 

CED 2022

DB Netz AG / Pia Haskamp

Opening Ceremony at the Connecting Europe Days 2022

Messestand S4

Symbios GmbH

The S4 exhibition stand together with the Regionaltangente West project and Symbios GmbH 

8-12 September 2021Thank you for visiting us at the NordBau trade fair in Neumünster, northern Germany's largest such event for the construction sector.
This year, we again showcased the S4 along with other construction projects in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
 

Digital event about construction, 15 June 2021

Thank you for taking part in our information event for construction phase 1. We really appreciated your contributions. Almost 200 participants watched the event, and we received over 500 comments and questions via the chat function.
We were able to provide a lot of answers while the event was still taking place, with construction activities and the option of hotel accommodation being just some of the topics we addressed. The presentation in the download section contains all of the issues covered during the event.
As announced at the time, we will now focus on answering your remaining questions. Give us some time and you'll soon see these responses right here on the website.


In the meantime, you can always contact us whenever you need: . We'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Presentation: digital event about construction

Answers to your questions from the digital event about construction

General

When we were looking for the best solution, we  assessed different proposals that incorporated a range of  alternative parameters: costs, advantages, environmental factors, urban planning, technical feasibility, public acceptance and the evolution of traffic over time. Early in the process, we decided to select a route that would have the least possible impact on people's private property and public green spaces. In a rail operations analysis, this option scored higher than proposals for an alternative route via Lüneburg and Büchen or positioning the line next to the A1 motorway. This kind of analysis aims to identify a good balance between the new infrastructure and the range of services we want to provide. These need to be economically viable and scheduled so trains operate on a reliable basis. The S4's present route was the best one in terms of sustainability and environmental impact.

The stop at Paracelsusstrasse will be called Pulverhof. It is still in the planning approval process at the moment,  so we don't have any definite information about the start and finish of building work yet. However, we hope to start partial services on the S4 line in 2024, and we want to open the stop at Pulverhof then as well.

Neither the project team nor DB Netz AG has any influence on statements made by the police. Work on this section is scheduled to run until 2027, when the line will go into partial service. If you take the preparations into account, building work will take seven years.

During the project, we will remodel seven pre-existing stations and improve accessibility at them. Some stations will get new features such as shelters and bicycle racks. There are no plans to fit stations with CCTV.

The planning approval procedure for the second section (Luetkensallee to the border between Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein) started at the end of September 2017. The documents were on public display in December 2019. At the moment, planning approval section 2 is in the objection management phase. We are processing the objections and drafting our responses. The public consultation will probably take place in 2022.

Freight trains are already travelling through Marienthal at lower speeds because they turn off onto Hamburg's freight bypass line near Hammer Strasse (via the Horner Kurve link). 

A higher number of freight trains the Lübeck-Hamburg line is not connected to the construction of the S4. The S4 is a local transport project, and it will reduce pressure on the current long-distance line because it will replace the regional trains that operate between Lübeck and Hamburg today. However, our plans do factor in an increase in train numbers – for example, we have considered this in our noise studies and rail operation analyses. This growth is largely due to Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will open in 2029 at the earliest. 

Unlike air travel, there are no nighttime restrictions on rail services.

DB Netz AG and the relevant authorities have coordinated their activities, and this entailed adding measures related to the project plans (road closures, rerouted traffic, etc.) to ROADS.

The planning approval stipulates the area where damage reports are mandatory.

The S4 project does not include a station at Luetkensallee.

The S4 project does not include a station at Luetkensallee. The distance between the new stops at Bovestrasse and Holstenhofweg corresponds to the usual distance between two stations in Hamburg's S-Bahn network.

The S4 is a local transport project, so this line will only carry S4 trains. There have always been freight trains on the current rail line, and there will be more in the future. 

Rail transport is safer than all other forms of transport, such as road. While we cannot rule out the transportation of nuclear waste, there is currently nothing to suggest that the line will be used this way in the medium term.

There have always been freight trains on the current rail line, and there will be more in the future. 

Rail transport is safer than all other forms of transport, such as road. While we cannot rule out the transportation of nuclear waste, there is currently nothing to suggest that the line will be used this way in the medium term.

Rail is one of the safest modes of transport there is, for both freight and passengers. During construction, we will also assess and optimise safety measures.  Transporting freight by rail has several advantages:

  • Trains are guided by their tracks, which provide an additional layer of control.
  • Safety features ensure that operators can maintain an unvarying distance between trains. In contrast, motorists have to constantly gauge and adjust their distance from other vehicles when on the road.
  • Rail technology can be used in a way that minimises the risk of human error.

The S4 will use conventional signalling technology 

Legal challenges

We undertake construction work on the basis of the planning approval decision (= building permit). The planning application lists or shows the areas where trees have to be removed. DB makes sure these are replaced: a total of around 1,800 square metres (0.18 hectares) of new trees and bushes are being planted at Wandsbeker Gehölz park (26.3 hectares).

Timetable & construction-related closures

The S4 project team has no influence on the choice of buses for rail replacement services. As a result, we cannot provide any information about this issue.

At this point in time, we cannot provide any information about the duration and frequency of rail replacement services. However, we are trying to keep disruptions to a minimum. Nevertheless, due to the scale and complexity of the construction work, disruptions will be unavoidable.

The underpass at Wandsbek station will be closed during the project: it will be demolished as part of the construction work for the S4.  While it is closed, pedestrians and cyclists can use the Robert Schumann Tunnel and the underpass at Bovestrasse.

At the moment, we cannot provide any information about the length of line closures. However, we are trying to keep disruptions to a minimum. We and Hamburg's S-Bahn operator will inform you about any closure in good time.

At the moment, we can't provide any information about the closure of this underpass as everything depends on the work that is currently taking place. As soon as a date has been set, DB Netz AG will make an announcement  in good time.

According to our current plans, the new underpass at Claudiusstrasse will be completed and reopened to pedestrians and cyclists at the end of 2023.

Freight trains are already travelling through Marienthal at lower speeds because they turn off onto Hamburg's freight bypass line near Hammer Strasse (via the Horner Kurve link). 
Local and long-distance passenger trains have currently reduced their speed because track work is taking place between Hasselbrook and Hammer Strasse. The trains slow down for safety reasons. 

Construction work

The work on construction phase 1 will take another 5-6 years.

Most construction work can only take place when we have what is known as "track possession" for a given area, i.e. when no trains are running. This usually happens at night or at weekends because we want to ensure that rail services can continue as normally as possible. DB's aim is to keep inconvenience to local residents to a minimum.

Work in the Hasselbrook area will continue until at least 2027. 

Noise barriers are already being built at certain locations. Normally, however, we can erect noise barriers only when we have completed all track construction work. The supply system is the reason for this: building material arrives at a site via the access road constructed along the existing line.

We cannot give an exact date at this point in time because we have not yet commissioned this work from a service provider.
However, as things currently stand, we plan to complete construction at the end of 2025. Pedestrians will probably be able to use the underpass again at an earlier date.

The planning approval decision does not always stipulate that mobile shielding (movable noise barriers or similar) must be used for longer, site-bound construction work. When checking if mobile shielding can be used, we also assess conditions at the site and the availability of space.

The noise barriers at Seydeckreihe will have a height of 6 metres above the top of the rails.

We brief construction companies about a site before the work starts and we explain the scope of what they will be doing. There are also weekly construction meetings where we discuss the upcoming activities. Professional construction supervisors oversee all building work as well. These measures ensure that all of our contractors' activities are in compliance with the planning approval decision.

We performed the noise emissions study in accordance with  the relevant legislation – the 16th ordinance for the implementation of Germany's pollution control act  (Verkehrslärmschutz-Verordnung) . It regulates how acoustic calculations must be performed in the event of significant changes to rail lines. It also specifies immission limits on the basis of the activities that take place within a given area. The noise barriers at Schlossgarten will be 6 metres high to comply with this regulation.

Carrying out all construction work by advancing along the rail line bit by bit would be far slower or require us to close the current line for longer. Closing the line would prevent commuters and other travellers from using the railway for a significant period. This route is important for local and long-distance trains – passengers and freight services alike – so shutting it completely is not an option.

There is no underpass at Rodigallee. However, we do have information about the underpass near Bovestrasse, if that was the one you meant.

It will be closed multiple times during the project, for example when we are relocating pipes and cables or when we are rebuilding the railway bridge.
During these closures, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the underpass at Wandsbek station (Wandsbeker Gehölz).

Work started on this section of line (route 1242) at the end of 2020.

DB Netz AG provides information about upcoming work via a range of communication channels, such as our website and Max Maulwurf bulletins. These info leaflets contain the dates of our construction activities. Unfortunately, it is not possible to name the precise time when work will start or end. 

If extremely noisy construction work is scheduled, we will provide you with clear information and name the days when it will happen.

Noise and vibrations

When planning approval is issued, DB Netz AG begins the work of implementing passive noise control measures. We will be in contact with residents affected by these measures over the coming months so we can coordinate everything with them.

If your property is damaged during construction work, please contact us immediately via the project's e-mail address S4 (at) deutschebahn.com.

Unfortunately, our project requires us to perform work such as pile-driving, and activities that create a lot of noise and vibrations like this will take place repeatedly during the course of construction work. 

If you are a resident who is entitled to hotel accommodation because of the noise and vibration forecasts, we will send you a letter with the relevant information in good time.

We constantly have to be prepared for disruptions such as noise, vibrations and road closures throughout the entire construction period. DB's aim is to keep disruptions to a minimum. If you are a resident who is entitled to hotel accommodation due to the noise and vibration forecasts, we will send you a letter with the relevant information in good time.
 

In addition, our Max Maulwurf bulletins and our homepage contain information about the work scheduled for the coming weeks.

So far during construction work, we have occasionally had to dismantle noise barriers – for example to create bases for new overhead line masts. At certain locations, we are already reinstalling noise barriers. 


Normally, however, we can construct noise barriers only when we have completed all track construction work. The supply system is the reason for this: building material arrives at a site via the access road constructed along the existing line.

During construction, our contractors make use of state-of-the-art, low-noise building methods and machinery as part of our focus on keeping noise as low as possible. In addition, our construction noise officer deals specifically with issues relating to noise at building sites. Anyone who wants to address a problem can simply get in touch with them.

Environment & Land management

DB will start replacing vegetation, for example by replanting trees, shortly after construction ends. This work will start as soon as we no longer need the space in question for our building activities.

Utility companies Stromnetz Hamburg and Hamburg Wasser are currently carrying out construction work at Schlossgarten. DB Netz AG is obliged to protect the trees along access roads, for example by surrounding them with guards made of planks of wood.

The wall of noise barriers will reach a height of 6 metres above the top of the rails. DB Netz AG is currently discussing the barriers' colours with the relevant authorities.

At the moment, our project team is busy discussing measures with two municipal authorities in Hamburg (housing and urban development, and transport and new mobility). We are studying if plants can be used. If yes, we will look at what kinds of plants are suitable and if this measure is feasible.

The planning approval stipulates the scope or size of the area where damage reports are mandatory. Damage reports must be compiled before construction work starts.

The planning approval (building permit) stipulates what kind of compensation is available if light levels are reduced. 

Tenants are entitled to rent reductions from their landlords. 
Compensation is exclusively a matter between DB Netz AG and house owners.

Tenants are entitled to rent reductions from their landlords. 
Compensation is exclusively a matter between DB Netz AG and house owners.

Tenants are entitled to rent reductions from their landlords. 
Compensation is exclusively a matter between DB Netz AG and house owners.

Tenants are entitled to rent reductions from their landlords. 
Compensation is exclusively a matter between DB Netz AG and house owners.

When we were preparing the planning permit application, we compiled a noise assessment report that looked at noise emissions after construction work ends. 


Our noise control plan is the outcome of this report, and it outlines how high the noise barriers should be, what kind of other measures are necessary, etc.
The 6-metre high barriers that we install offer local residents the best possible protection from noise generated by rail operations. If, despite the noise barriers, noise levels at a given house are verified as being above the threshold figures permitted by the relevant legislation (16th ordinance for the implementation of Germany's pollution control act), the residents are entitled to passive noise control measures such as soundproof windows. DB Netz AG will get in touch with these people separately.

Our construction work for the S4 entails different measures: installing features such as ballast mats on the existing freight track, padded sleepers, concrete troughs filled with ballast, etc. You can find the full vibration report and subsequent test in our media centre. It is located in the planning approval documents: planning approval section 1, document 16.

During planning, DB looked at alternative routes so we could identify the best option in terms of costs, advantages, environmental factors, urban planning, technical feasibility, public acceptance and the evolution of traffic over time. DB found the current route to be the most sustainable and environmentally friendly solution. The two new tracks for the S-Bahn will be laid on the northern side of the line, i.e. the side furthest from the nature reserve. 

Communication

The S4 team regularly provides people living near planning approval section 1 with information about construction work in the form of our Max Maulwurf bulletins. These updates also describe the dates and locations of work at night.

According to the planning approval decision, DB Netz AG is obliged to provide alternative accommodation to residents if we believe they will be exposed to levels that exceed the guidelines. We will try to find hotels in the vicinity or that have good transport connections.

If construction work generates noise that exceeds the permitted limits, the project team will contact you with the option of hotel accommodation. In addition, if you personally feel that our work is too noisy, you can contact us via our public hotline or the project's e-mail address. We will then check if you are entitled to temporary accommodation and book this for you if necessary.

If your property is damaged during construction work, please contact us immediately via the project's e-mail address S4 (at) deutschebahn.com.

According to the planning approval decision, DB Netz AG is obliged to provide alternative accommodation to residents if we believe they will be exposed to levels that exceed the guidelines. We will try to find hotels in the vicinity or that have good transport connections. 

The land near the future station at Bovestrasse (in the vicinity of Wandsbek freight station) is privately owned. We will use this property while construction is ongoing. This is a temporary measure. After construction ends, it sites' owners are free to decide what they want to do with their property.

Damage will be rectified as quickly as possible. If you would like to know the current status of your damage reimbursement application, simply contact us by e-mail at S4 (at) deutschebahn.com

The S4 project team is in close and regular contact with the relevant authorities and the head teachers at local schools. This approach ensures that you will be able to use the same routes during and after the construction period.

No, but you can use the following number to reach us by phone between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday: +49 (0) 40 / 3918-2161. At the weekend, you can contact us at S4 (at) deutschebahn.com. We will respond as quickly as possible.

In order to better monitor and manage construction work, DB Netz has commissioned a service provider to fly a drone over planning approval section 1 every week. It only films building work plus the associated construction site facilities and access roads.
Drone operation complies with privacy laws.

In order to better monitor and manage construction work, DB Netz has commissioned a service provider to fly a drone over planning approval section 1 every week. It only films building work plus the associated construction site facilities and access roads.
Drone operation complies with privacy laws.

Information event for planning approval section 1

Source: DB Netz AG

Information event for planning approval section 2, 2018 

On Friday, 22 June 2018, the S4 project team took questions from around 150 people at a public information event about section 2 (from Luetkensallee to the border between Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein) between 4:30 and 7:30 pm. Visitors to the event could go to different stands to learn more about topics such as noise control, the environment and implications for private property adjacent to the line. General information about the S4 project was also available. Anyone who wanted to know more could ask detailed questions about the planning process and if construction work would have an impact on them personally. 

Information event for planning approval section 2

Source: DB Netz AG

Infobus on tour, July 2018

On Wednesday, 11 July 2018, our infobus for big projects was in central Ahrensburg to give the town's residents the chance to learn more about the S4. Lots of people were interested in the project so, despite the occasionally heavy rain, they turned up to see what the (dry and sheltered) interior of the bus had in store. The S4 team and their partners from Schleswig-Holstein's transport authority NAH and the state's transport ministry (which also handles economic affairs, employment, technology and tourism) spent a total of four hours telling Ahrensburg residents what they wanted to know about planning approval section 3. 

Demonstrating the noise simulator

Photo: Svenja Neumann/DB Netz AG

Demonstrating the noise simulator

All kinds of people wanted to learn the details of planning approval section 3.

2019 NordBau in Neumünster

DB Netz AG was in Neumünster from 11-15 September 2019 to take part in the NordBau trade fair and showcase its major projects in northern Germany. The S4 link between Hamburg and Bad Oldesloe once again took centre stage. 

The digger does its obligatory dance. A giant sorting grab carrying a small cuddly toy.

The digger does its obligatory dance. A giant sorting grab carrying a small cuddly toy.

During the presentation, team leader Nils Adam described the planned construction measures
Schleswig-Holstein's premier Daniel Günther at the trade fair
Schleswig-Holstein's premier Daniel Günther at the trade fair
DB Netz's stand
DB Netz's stand

2017 panel discussion about the S4 and freight transport

On Monday 23 October 2017, around 140 guests gathered at auditorium 8 of Wandsbek's UCI cinema complex to discuss the S4. Freight transport was the main topic of the evening. DB Netz AG invited people living near the new line and other interested parties so we could clarify their questions. The participants also got the chance to exchange views with the project's experts. Discussions sometimes became quite animated, and the panel was able to answer many of the questions during the two-hour event.  

Panel discussion in a cinema auditorium

Source: DB Netz AG

Lively interest: around 140 guests came to the panel discussion in auditorium 8 of Wandsbek's UCI cinema complex