Priority corridors: first large power plants in Saarland have received coal

Karel Novak, Published on 27/10/2022
Priority corridors: first large power plants in Saarland have received coal
@Deutsche Bahn AG / Claus Weber

Simultaneously DB Cargo prepares more than 1,000 freight wagons to fit for coal transports.


DB Cargo is transporting coal by goods train to Saarland for power plant operator STEAG. The Bexbach power plant near Neunkirchen is thus one of the first large power plants to benefit from the new "priority corridors" for supply-relevant goods trains. With the coal trains to various power plant locations in Germany, DB Cargo is making an important contribution to securing the energy supply. The "priority corridors" created by the federal government are used for transport. The federal government has stipulated in a legal ordinance that these goods trains are given priority on the rail network on firmly defined transport routes and where there is a specific public energy supply. The Parliamentary State Secretary and Logistics Commissioner of the Federal Government, Oliver Luksic, received one of the first coal trains in Saarland together with Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, Member of the Management Board for Freight Transport of DB AG.

Oliver Luksic: "We have created the legal framework to be prepared for situations like this. Specifically, it makes it possible to prioritize energy transport. This is necessary because our rail network is already heavily utilized. Outages or delays can therefore not be seriously ruled out. At the same time, we can only succeed in securing the supply of coal-fired power plants by working together. The sites in the Saarland in particular are of great importance for the energy security of the country. That is why we are counting on close cooperation with logistics and the energy industry, for example with DB Cargo and STEAG, to provide planning security and implement pragmatic solutions."

In addition, DB Cargo is currently in full swing with the modernization of more than 1,000 coal wagons. Some of these were in storage and are now being reactivated and retrofitted with whisper brakes.

Dr. Sigrid Nikutta: "DB accepts its responsibility for the energy supply in Germany. We run as well, as fast and as much as possible. Supplying the power stations with hard coal - like so many things at the moment - is a new challenge that could not have been foreseen a few months ago. DB Cargo is showing once again how quickly we can respond to such changes with strong rail freight transport. Thanks to DB Cargo's European network, we are also supplying additional power plant locations such as here in Bexbach in Saarland."

For the Bexbach site, DB Cargo has also created a new supply chain for ammonia via the important single-wagon network. Ammonia is imported from the seaports and is used for flue gas cleaning in coal-fired power plants. It therefore directly benefits a compatible operation of the power plant in the region. Weekly deliveries of individual wagons by safe rail thus make the recommissioning possible in the first place.

Bexbach power plant by @steag.com
Bexbach power plant by @steag.com

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