- There is so much to renovate at the train that the construction sites in the railway network will probably be part of everyday life for passengers for years to come.
- The company receives a lot of money for this: from 2020 to 2023, the railways should receive one billion euros more each year to maintain and expand the infrastructure.
Who currently drives train knows what construction sites mean. On many routes in the country, rail travel takes just longer. In order to revamp the dilapidated infrastructure, the Group will set up a total of 800 construction sites this year. It is about the rehabilitation of bridges, points, signal boxes and tracks. And more punctuality in the future.
Now, however, it becomes clear: A quick end is not in sight. The construction sites in the rail network will probably still be years of everyday life for passengers. After all: For the urgently needed repair work on its 33,000-kilometer rail network, the railway should now get much more money from the federal government. According to government sources, from 2020 to 2023, one billion euros more will be spent every year for the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure. This is what the Union and the SPD agreed on in the budget negotiations.
According to information of South German newspaper In addition, a total of 570 million euros will flow into the digitization of rail transport in the same period – and more and more trains will in future drive partially automatically. This is how it is stated in the "Basic Values of the Government Budget Bill", which the Cabinet intends to decide on Wednesday.
4.5 billion euros for investment
The financing agreements with the railways will be closed in the coming weeks and months. But already now the budget provides for a corresponding "precaution" in both points. Thus, the increase in the funds for the routes by the so-called benefit and financing agreement (LuFV) between the Confederation and German Railways will be established. The previous agreement expires this year. So far, the federal government has paid 3.5 billion euros for investment in the maintenance of the network. In the future it should be 4.5 billion.
The German government made clear on Monday what it wants from the railway in the future: faster long-distance routes. The Federal Government Commissioner for Railways, Enak Ferlemann (CDU), wants to push ahead with the long-planned expansion of the Berlin-Cologne route to the high-speed line. To get from the capital to Cologne within four hours, a new ICE line for Tempo 300 between Hanover and Bielefeld is needed. Then the train would win more passengers and lose less of the air traffic. From the new terrace should also benefit the trains between Berlin and Amsterdam, which can then drive much faster.
So far, the ICE between Cologne and Berlin takes about 4 hours and 40 minutes. Thoughts are still in their infancy. In the coming year, the government plans to start a dialogue forum with citizens and municipalities on a preferred route. Experts believe that the planning and construction of such a route would take at least ten years. The financing is not yet secured. It is clear, however, that the railway can rehabilitate the route Hamburg-Westerland in the next four years for 160 million euros.
How the group is rehabilitating itself, however, is still open. Behind the scenes there has been a dispute over who should join the board. The railway wants to expand the executive committee by two posts. However, it is still unclear who should control regional traffic in the future. The board wants to get the manager Evelyn Palla from the Austrian Railways. On the other hand, members of the supervisory board are in favor of the boss of Berlin's public transport company, Sigrid Nikutta.
Even with the possible sale of parts of the group there is a dispute. In group circles it is said that some members of the supervisory board were irritated by a thin preparation for the next meeting and did not feel well informed. Instead of presenting several variants as desired, the Executive Board has worked out one thing in particular: its own plan for a sale of the foreign subsidiary Arriva.