Germany: only 100 km rail network newly electrified, Pro-Rail Alliance critises

Germany: only 100 km rail network newly electrified, Pro-Rail Alliance critises
© Pro-Rail Alliance

Pro-Rail Alliance calls for faster electrification of rail network due to wide disparities between federal states.

Electrifying Germany's railways is progressing very slowly, says the Pro-Rail Alliance in its statement, going on to say: "Last year, hardly more than 100 kilometres of the railway network in Germany were newly electrified. Much more is needed to close the gaps in the electrification of the rail network. The growth potential of the railways is being severely curtailed. That's why we are calling for a significant acceleration in the construction of overhead lines.

According to the coalition agreement, 75 per cent of the German rail network is to be electrified by 2030, compared with 62 per cent at present.

The managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, Dirk Flege, explains: "This electrification target can no longer be achieved at the same pace. We would have to move eight times faster than we are now in order to electrify 75 percent of the rail network by 2030.

Looking at the individual German states, regional differences in electrification levels are striking, with the city states of Bremen (89%) and Berlin (84%) leading the way, closely followed by Saarland (81%) and Hamburg (76%). This is followed by Rheinland-Pfalz (42 %) and Thuringia (34 %). At the bottom of the league in terms of electrified lines is Schleswig-Holstein (27%).

Gaps in electrification are a recurring problem. Electrically powered freight and long-distance trains cannot switch to another line because of a lack of overhead lines, for example, due to construction work. The lack of overhead lines is also an obstacle to the increasing modal shift from road to rail.

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