The Government of Germany has committed to invest €62 billion into the maintenance and upgrade of its railway system over the next 10 years.
German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) will provide €24 billion in financial support, having signed a contract with the Government in Berlin on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, which guaranteed the investment.
“Our goal is a strong rail network as the basis for active climate protection in transportation.”— Germany’s Transport and Digital Infrastructure Minister Andreas Scheuer
The combined €86-billion investment reflects a 54 per cent increase over funds spent in previous administrative periods.
“The 2020s are going to be a golden era for German rail,” said Germany’s Transport and Digital Infrastructure Minister Andreas Scheuer.
“We are signing on to the largest modernisation programme that’s ever existed in Germany. Our goal is a strong rail network as the basis for active climate protection in transportation,” he added.
Proceeds from the investment will be used to renew approximately 2,000 kilometres of tracks and 2,000 switching points every year. In addition, 2,000 railways bridges will also be renovated by the year 2030.
Deutsche Bahn has indicated it wants to grow its fleet of super-fast from 39 to 137. Moreover, the company said it wants to see regular high-speed connections operating at quick intervals between all of Germany’s larger cities and is targeting 260 million passengers a year by 2030.
“The record size of this investment — plus the scope of areas it involves — will offer a wealth of opportunities for foreign companies as well as German firms to get involved,” Stefan Di Bitonto, a Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) transportation expert, explained.
“In fact, companies from around the world are already taking part in the modernisation process,” he continued.
The focus on railway transport forms part of Germany’s strategy to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Deutsche Bahn CEO Richard Lutz has argued in the past that rail is “the only truly green mode of transport”.