As RAILMARKET.com informed a couple of weeks ago, the budget committee of the German Bundestag approved the transport budget, which was criticized by Pro-Rail Alliance for its underfunding.
The situation is almost the same now. After approval by the federal government, its volume is still low, according to Pro-Rail Alliance:
"Just like the first one, it represents a continuation of "no change" in transport policy," complaines Executive Director Dirk Flege. The budget is "not even enough to compensate for the increase in construction costs for the rail infrastructure", and the announced transport turnaround is "still not in sight," and continues:
"Just like the previous governments, the coalition focuses on the construction of new roads and neglects future investments in the rail infrastructure. Next year, 3.86 billion euros will be available for the new construction and expansion of federal roads, almost twice as much as for the capacity expansion of the rail network, for which two billion euros have been budgeted from the rail demand plan."
In connection with the cabinet decision, the Pro-Rail Alliance pointed to the strong increase in demand for freight transport by rail and the boom in passenger transport triggered by the 9-Euro ticket. "The draft budget slows down demand on the infrastructure side. Key issues for the future, such as the digitalization and electrification of the rail network, continue to languish in the federal government's financial planning," says the Pro-Rail Alliance Managing Director.
According to this nonprofit organization, at least it is positive that there will be an increase to 75 million euros for small construction projects in the rail network, which can quickly help to alleviate bottlenecks (plus 56 million euros compared to the 2022 plan). Following the cabinet decision, the Pro-Rail Alliance is now hoping for further improvements to the draft budget in the parliamentary procedure as well as for the future Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF), which is to replace the current Energy and Climate Fund.