Germany: rail projects delayed by decades, Pro-Rail Alliance claims

Germany: rail projects delayed by decades, Pro-Rail Alliance claims
@Frank Kniestedt / Deutsche Bahn AG

Its calculations are based on current data from the budget committee of the Bundestag. Therefore Pro-Rail Alliance demands a share of HGV toll revenues for rail infrastructure.

If the current level of annual investment were to be maintained, it would take almost 50 years to realize the priority projects in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, Pro-Rail Alliance declares:

"The result of our calculations is staggering. If the underfunding continues, the last railway lines prioritized by the federal government would not be ready until 2071 and not 2030 as planned," says Pro-Rail Alliance Managing Director Dirk Flege.

The calculations of the Pro-Rail Alliance show that the federal government would theoretically have to increase its annual investments in rail sixfold to achieve the rail measures classified as "priority needs" in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan by 2030. Accordingly, 12.2 billion euros would have to be invested in the rail infrastructure every year if the target year of 2030 were to be reached. This does not even take into account the massive increases in construction costs over the past year.

To quickly achieve noticeable successes for rail customers in the expansion of the rail network, the Pro-Rail Alliance has been calling for the funds for expansion and new construction measures to be doubled from the previous two billion euros to four billion euros per year.

Against the backdrop of numerous trunk road projects that are also not funded, Managing Director Dirk Flege calls for clear priority to be given to rail expansion. "It is time for a new start. The budget for the new construction and expansion of the rail infrastructure must now be massively increased. Whether the federal government should then still spend money on new motorways is highly questionable not only in terms of climate and energy policy but increasingly also in terms of budgetary policy. A wise measure would be to quickly implement the announcement in the coalition agreement that revenues from the HGV toll would in the future be used again for the expansion of alternatives to road transport. This would make additional funds available for environmentally friendly mobility. Finally, the coalition agreement states that the federal government wants to invest considerably more money in rail than in the road."

According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan is the most important instrument of federal transport infrastructure planning. It includes investments in existing road, rail, and waterway networks as well as the expansion and new construction of infrastructure. For the railways, the declared goal is to create significantly more capacities in passenger and freight transport with the planned investments by 2030.

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