The Association of German Transport Undertakings (VDV) and the Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene) have presented the 3rd edition of the VDV brochure with an updated and expanded national list of railway lines to be reopened. They also called for support for the reopening of sections of the lines for freight transport and for a separate funding programme in the budget for this purpose.
The summer's enthusiasm for the €9 ticket has shown that public transport can be very beneficial for people, especially in developed regions. In this context, the reactivation of old railway lines is considered an effective measure to connect more people to the rail network nationwide. “The willingness to use rail exists – and the potential for expanding rail transport is enormous. People rightly expect rapid development – even in places where there is no rail link today,” said Dirk Flege, Managing Director of the Pro-Rail Alliance.
By reactivation of old railway lines, the decline that has occurred in this area in recent decades could be remedied and reversed. Although the framework conditions for the reactivation of the lines have improved considerably over the last few years, the process is only just beginning. "At least four lines with a length of 66 kilometres have been reactivated so far. But of the 277 lines with a total length of 4,573 kilometres, 40 more or 557 kilometres have been added in the meantime. The potential for reactivation exists in practically all regions of Germany,” commented Dr. Martin Henke, VDV Managing Director Railways.
The VDV brochure identifies 332 cities and municipalities that could be reconnected to the rail network through the proposed reactivations. A total of 3.4 million inhabitants are affected. One of the most important current challenges is to get freight transport more involved in the renewal of the route network - with its own budget. "For the reactivation of freight-only lines that connect factories via decentralized freight transport hubs and forwarding terminals with urgently needed freight routes in the countryside, there has not yet been a separate budget at the federal level that is also appropriately equipped and applied across all railroads, regardless of the infrastructure company," said Dr. Martin Henke.