German railway overhaul to benefit freight 21/08/21

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German railway overhaul to benefit freight

News 21 Aug 2021by WCN Editorial

Germany’s transport department (BMVI) has identified 181 rail infrastructure projects worth €40B to provide a synchronised nationwide railway timetable by 2030


The Deutschlandtakt ("German flow") scheme seeks to align all passenger railway services and freight train slots into a single timetable for the country’s entire grid. The goal is not only to improve passenger transit times, as freight will enjoy same status, the BMVI stressed.


According to Germany’s main rail freight lobby group, Allianz pro Schiene, the Deutschlandtakt will better systematize slots and benefit rail freight though shorter transit times, and this will also increase nationwide grid capacity. In addition, more freight corridors are included in the scheme.


Berlin is aiming for a 25% railway share in national modal split by 2030. Adapting Germany’s railway system to accommodate 740m long freight trains is among 29 rail infrastructure newbuild or expansion projects costed at €23B. This scheme, launched in 2018, was preceded by a 2016 package of 23 projects worth a total €35B.


Most of the aggregate €98B worth of rail infrastructure investments (new, expansion, upgrade) enjoy priority status. Germany’s Railway Act has been recently changed in favour of a speedier realisation of works. As a consequence, planning can be started for the 181 latest projects. A series of pilots will be launched, in which network manager DB Netz will try out new models to assign timetables and freight slots.