30 billion euros pumped into rail northern Germany

By 2030, at least 30 billion euros will be invested in expanding the rail infrastructure in the north of Germany. This is one of the main promises of a new alliance formed in the country to boost the numbers on the local network. The alliance is called Future of Rail North and includes Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the federal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday 12 January. New and expansion projects are to be promoted and accelerated, the existing infrastructure to be more robust and long-distance and local and freight traffic to be strengthened – across federal state borders.Eventually, the main goal is to attract more volumes to the rails.

Money, action and coordination

The parties agreed on several points of action, the investment amount being one of them. This should create more capacity on the network. But the alliance is also developing joint measures to make the rail infrastructure in the north “more robust, more efficient and more attractive for customers”.

Furthermore, the alliance partners are improving construction site management so that the trains can continue to run despite the many construction sites. “Building and driving should be optimally coordinated”, they state, a welcome promise considering the current disruption on the German rail network due to construction activity.

Timeframe

The federal states and Deutsche Bahn agree to jointly push the planning ahead at an early stage. In summer 2022 they should come up with a concrete plan.

Bernd Buchholz, minister for Economic Affairs, Transport, Labor, Technology and Tourism of the State of Schleswig-Holstein: “Our state-wide local transport plan recently approved by the state parliament is exactly the right component for the future of northern rail. We have already anchored other important rail infrastructure projects here, which we want to implement over the next few years. Among other things, the electrification of other railway lines plays an important role. In order to implement the many projects as quickly as possible, all possibilities of the Investment Acceleration Act should be used consistently. In addition, a sufficient number of staff is required to process the approval process without delays. “

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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