The first segment of the Berlin-Hamburg route is approved (prerequisite for the construction permits).
The government, Deutsche Bahn AG and the industrial consortium, though having different opinions about the reasons, state that the Berlin-Hamburg route will not be realised; neither on the basis of the key points paper of April 25, 1997, nor on the basis of the analysis of alternative scenarios carried out thereafter.
First discussions between the government, the states and Deutsche Bahn AG result in five alternative routes:
In the next four or five months, the general conditions such as cost and passenger volume for each route are to be specified.
- Connection of the Munich and Berlin-Schönefeld airports to their respective city centres
- A so-called "Metrorapid" concept for North Rhine-Westphalia
- A Transrapid connection to the Netherlands via Northern Germany
- A connection between the airports Frankfurt on the Main and Hahn in the Hunsrück mountains
June - October
The TVE is a satellite exhibition of the EXPO 2000.
The city of Shanghai and Transrapid International sign an agreement on a feasibility study to be carried out jointly on a 30 km long Transrapid line from the new Pudong International Airport to Shanghai's city centre.
The Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji, the Mayor of Shanghai, Xu Kuangdi, and a high-ranking delegation including Federal Transport Minister, Reinhard Klimmt ride the Transrapid 08.
Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji
Federal Transport Minister Reinhard Klimmt
The German Minister of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt, and his American colleague, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, sign an agreement in Washington on German-American cooperation in which, among other things, the development of safety and environmental standards for the application of the Transrapid maglev technology in the US is defined. The US Congress allocated $1 billion (€1.2 billion) for the realization of one or more Transrapid routes.
In Berlin, the Minister of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt, and the Minister-Presidents Edmund Stoiber and Wolfgang Clement sign the agreement on feasibility studies for the 37 km long airport link in Munich and the initial 80 km of the Metrorapid connection Dortmund-Essen-Düsseldorf. The feasibility studies for both routes are to be available in early 2002.