One billion euros: besides others for Rhine-Alpine freight corridor

One billion euros: besides others for Rhine-Alpine freight corridor

The Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) are jointly moving ahead with the planning for Digital Rail Germany. An existing financing agreement will be increased from around 1.7 billion to around 2.7 billion euros.

In addition, DB has received a commitment from the federal government to continue financing the planning of several projects from the so-called starter package.

In the long term, all lines and rail nodes are to be equipped with the European Train Control System (ETCS) and digital interlockings and the old technology is to be completely replaced. The aim of modernization: more space for trains, better punctuality, and fewer disruptions. In the future, DB will be able to completely reorganize operations on the rail network and create up to 35 percent more capacity.

Federal Minister Volker Wissing: "To achieve our climate targets, we need more capacity on the railways quickly. We want to make the railways the climate-neutral backbone of our transport system. In addition to refurbishment, new construction, and expansion, digitization is a crucial building block."

DB Infrastructure Director Berthold Huber: "Given the growing volumes of traffic, we need more speed to make our rail network more powerful and efficient. In the medium and long term, we are focusing on expansion and new construction projects as well as the general renovation of important corridors. However, the digitalization of the infrastructure is a decisive key to this. Because with the digital railway operation of the future, we can bring more trains onto climate-friendly rail without the expensive and complex construction of new tracks. The agreements reached together with the federal government will therefore decisively advance Digital Rail Germany."

Among other things, the funds now made available will flow into the modernization and digitization of the infrastructure on the Rhine-Alpine freight corridor. This magistral from the Dutch North Sea ports to Italy is to be equipped with the European rail traffic management system ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System). The system contributes significantly to facilitating cross-border train traffic in Europe. Until now, locomotives and multiple units have had to be equipped with a wide variety of national safety systems. With ERTMS, this will no longer be necessary in the future.

In addition, DB can initiate further planning for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor with around 307 million euros. The European corridor, which is also important for freight transport, is to be fully equipped with ETCS between Denmark and Austria by the end of 2030. A total of 4,500 kilometers of track are involved.

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