Rare signal box delays work at ebenhausen station

Two weeks ago, the work on the railroad station in ebenhausen came to a sudden standstill. The german railroad is currently investing around 5.4 million euros there. The interchange station, which is important for the district of bad kissingen, is to be made barrier-free by the middle of 2019. The unexpected construction stop has now caused speculation. "For many in the village it was a rough question mark. Why does nothing happen there", reports benedikt kebler, local councilor for ebenhausen and local councillor. The work had started in spring with high pressure, in a short time much progress had been made. "That’s why many people have wondered why suddenly nothing is happening on the construction site", he says.

The forced break is connected with a rare signal box technology that is installed in ebenhausen. Things that are necessary for operation, such as track closures, switches, signals and the safety systems for the railroad overpass, are controlled from the signal box. But first things first. So far, only the first track is accessible at ground level. Those who want to access the remaining platforms have to go through an underpass, but only stairways lead down to it. To make it easier for the disabled, cyclists and families with strollers to get to the trains in the future, the railroad is building a completely new underpass a few meters away.

As the railroad informed us on request, there are currently problems with the construction process. "In order to be able to continue working, parts of the signal box technology must be rebuilt and technically approved in the next step", a company spokesman explains. That means: before the construction company can dig the pit for the new underpass, specialists have to lay the signal cables and the signal box technology. The problem: "for this reconstruction are currently no professionals available." That is why the work has come to a standstill.

It is currently not foreseeable when the specialists for the rare interlocking technology will be available. To what extent this will delay the construction period and whether the costs will increase, the railroad is unable to say anything reliable at present. However, the company assumes that the new underpass will not be ready in september as planned, but only in spring 2019. "But for the time being, nothing will change for the passengers", the spokesman emphasizes. The trains run as planned, there is only a change of track, which means that the trains run from a different platform.

Nevertheless, the construction site has been busy again since monday. In order not to lose any more time, the structure for the underpass is now being prefabricated at a different location and will be inserted into the construction pit at a later date. "Normally, the underpass is only concreted in the pit", heibt from the railroad. This work step is saved.

In the large municipality of oerlenbach, people are basically happy that the railroad is investing in the village’s dilapidated train station. However, mayor franz kuhn and the municipal council would have preferred it even more if the surroundings of the facility were also prepared at the same time. The lack of a public restroom and paved parking lots has been repeatedly raised with the railroad by the administration. At the last castle meeting in ebenhausen, the topic also took up a great deal of space.

The fact that the railroad does not want to address either of the two points pisses off the local representative. Every citizen who builds a house must provide parking spaces – and so must the railroad company. This is the tenor in the municipal council. "The fact that we need a parking lot is out of the question for me", says kebler. Many commuters park in the surrounding residential areas. For residents, it’s a hassle. The municipality had to keep up the pressure on the railroad to build parking lots. "Maybe a compromise can be found", he suggests. About the municipality contributing to the costs. If necessary, the company will have to think about financing the parking spaces from its own funds – as it has already done in rottershausen. There oerlenbach has paid for the parking area at the train station itself and with money from the village renewal.


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