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Construction of the U4 begins

Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Henner Mahlstedt, Günter Elste, Ole von Beust and Ulrich Sieg (from left to right) took part in the symbolic cut with a spade (© Hochbahn)

By making the first cut with a spade, Hamburg's Mayor Ole von Beust and the Chairman of the Board of Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HOCHBAHN) Günter Elste are today officially starting construction of the new U4 underground line.

"Hamburg is creating an international benchmark with its HafenCity project. In just a few years from now over 50,000 people will live and work in a maritime atmosphere. Today's cut with a spade is the symbol for creating a transport connection for this new district by means of a modern, environmentally friendly and fast underground railway connection. The U4 is an important element of Hamburg's city development," stressed Hamburg's First Mayor Ole von Beust.

From the end of 2011 the four kilometre long underground railway track will be connecting HafenCity, the most significant city-centre town-planning project in Europe today, to the city centre. "HOCHBAHN together with the City of Hamburg thoroughly investigated a total of 34 different routes. The track whose construction has been initiated today through this symbolic cut with a spade, will be more economic and efficient than any other variant", stated Günter Elste. The first cut with a spade is, however, also an important step for the future for the Chairman of the Board of Hamburger Hochbahn AG: "The U4 represents a highly efficient connection of HafenCity with the city centry and the Hamburg high-speed railway system. However it is also, at the same time, a precondition for the leap across the Elbe in order to connect the south of Hamburg to the existing underground railway network."

Apart from Ole von Beust and Günter Elste, Ulrich Sieg, responsible member of the executive board of HOCHBAHN for the U4 project, Henner Mahlstedt, Chairman of the Board of Hochtief Construction AG, as the representative of the companies participating in the construction work and Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chief Executive Officer of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH also took part in the symbolic cut with a spade. The spades used by the mayor and the HOCHBAHN executive board member for the first symbolic cut will be auctioned off by HOCHBAHN in favour of Hamburg Leuchtfeuer.

Two stops (Überseequartier and Lohsepark) are planned for the new district. HOCHBAHN expects that about 35,000 passengers a day will use the U4. The journey time from Jungfernstieg to the Überseequartier will be three minutes while that to Lohsepark will be four minutes. When operating together with the U3 line, which has existed for about 100 years now at the Landungsbrücken piers and at Baumwall, the U4 will offer an excellent transport connection for the whole dockland as well as a high transportation capacity since both lines operate independently of each other. The increase in capacity is particularly significant for future large events.