State Secretary Lower Saxony Frank Doods on the Wunderline

Frank Doods has been state secretary in Lower Saxony's Ministry of Economics, Transport, Construction and Digitalisation since November 2022. In his new position, he is looking forward to also chairing the Wunderline steering group.

"The Wunderline is a very special project that is above all characterised by close European cooperation. It is no coincidence that the project has received grants from the European Commission in the past and has been designated a flagship cross-border infrastructure and an important connecting element within the European railway network. In doing so, the Wunderline can bind more students, tourists and workers to the region and increase their cross-border mobility. And this is of increasing value in the context of international, European and national developments.

Despite sharply increased prices and ongoing new challenges, Lower Saxony continues to support the project and is committed to ensuring that the 1st construction phase is completed on schedule by the end of 2024. An important milestone that brings the realisation of the project much closer. The Wunderline connects northern Germany with the northern Netherlands and offers people a faster, more comfortable and, above all, more environmentally friendly connection. This will improve the mobility of residents on both sides of the border and strengthen the border region as a whole. The cooperation also offers a great opportunity in the future to build a bridge between the Netherlands and Scandinavia via Bremen. In light of European thinking, we would like to work on this together. The close cooperation also helps to strengthen the region with help from Berlin and the EU and secure important investments in infrastructure. The partners from the various fields work together committedly and intensively.

Of course, there is still a lot to be done. After the 1st construction step, it may not be over. We are working intensively together to plan a 2nd construction stage to enable further improvements to the connection. The Wunderline is a project that will also have to continuously respond to new developments and changing circumstances in the future. Given the new technical challenges and expected further rising prices, we will have to find an answer to the question of how to flesh out a 2nd construction phase. A joint study by all Wunderline partners should explore such questions in more detail. The result will be announced this summer. The aim of the project remains to offer a full and sustainable alternative to the car. This requires ongoing dialogue and coordination. However, I am very optimistic that we will also find a good solution for this and take the realisation of the Wunderline a lot further this year as well.

Finally, I would like to thank team Wunderline for their efforts in moving this great project forward in close cooperation with municipalities, cities, districts and other actors. I am looking forward to an exciting period and am convinced that with joint efforts we will be able to continue this very good cooperation," said Frank Doods, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economics, Transport, Construction and Digitalisation of Lower Saxony.