A containertrain on the 'Nord-Süd-Strecke' in Germany

Germany allocates 102 million euros for rail freight

A German funding scheme for the rail freight industry has been opened. The federal government allocates 30 million euros per year until 31 December 2024 to make the industry more future-proof. The federal programme, which is named Future Rail Freight Transport, is one of the immediate measures of the master plan for rail freight transport in Germany.

The programme is intended to provide financial support for operational trials and market launches of innovative technologies in the fields of digitisation, automation and vehicle technology. “We want to move more freight from road to rail and we want to support the industry in this corona crisis with extra investments”, reported the German transport ministry.


Applications could be sent in since 20 May 2020. Applications can be submitted by companies, scientific institutions, associations and legal entities. Especially non-federal railway companies and start-ups are encouraged to apply.

On average, the federal government pays half of the investment costs, the other half is borne by the applicants. The funding rates for individual projects can also be above or below 50%.

Support needed

The industry has previously asked for more support from Berlin. They point out that the cargo supply on railways has declined in recent weeks due to the lockdown and shippers have more and more goods transported by road. Road transport is helped by the low diesel prices at the moment.

The funding, which in total adds up to 102 million euros, is not intended to compensate for loss of turnover, but can only be used for the necessary investments in the mentioned fields.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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