The German government plans to allocate an additional 12.5 billion euros to Deutsche Bahn for the construction of new railway tracks.

Bahnstation Frankfurter Berg: Vor mehr Pünktlichkeit kommen erst einmal lange Sperrungen

Bahnstation Frankfurter Berg: Vor mehr Pünktlichkeit kommen erst einmal lange Sperrungen

Foto: Helmut Fricke / dpa

Die Finanzierung der umfassenden Sanierung viel befahrener Schienenkorridore scheint nahezu gesichert. Der Bund will der Deutschen Bahn weitere 12,5 Milliarden Euro in Form einer Eigenkapitalerhöhung zur Verfügung stellen. Insgesamt fließen dann knapp 40 Milliarden Euro. Das gab Bundesverkehrsminister Volker Wissing (FDP) auf einem Treffen mit der Bahnbranche in Frankfurt bekannt.

The fact that the federal government intends to contribute to the financing through increases in equity capital was already reported by SPIEGEL a few weeks ago. At that time, it specifically mentioned two billion euros for the year 2024. Now, Wissing has mentioned the total amount of 12.5 billion euros.

The first three renovation projects have been known for a long time: It will start next year on the so-called Riedbahn between Frankfurt and Mannheim. In 2025, the important route for freight traffic, Emmerich-Oberhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as Berlin-Hamburg, will follow.

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The further order of the 40 sections of tracks has now been presented. In 2026, the routes Cologne-Hagen, Nuremberg-Reichswald-Regensburg, Troisdorf-Koblenz, and Koblenz-Wiesbaden are among those to be tackled. Ulm-Augsburg and Mannheim-Karlsruhe corridors are at the end of the list for the second half of 2030.

Insgesamt sollen 4000 Kilometer Schienen generalsaniert werden. Sie sind dann Teil des »Hochleistungsnetzes« mit 9000 Kilometern. Insgesamt hat das deutsche Schienennetz eine Länge von 34.000 Kilometern.

Herausgenommen wurden zwei Abschnitte in Hessen, die laut Bahn nun anderweitig saniert werden müssten. Es handelt sich um die Strecken Fulda-Flieden und Flieden-Hanau.

Extrem verschlechterte Pünktlichkeit

The aim of the renovations is to provide a much more reliable train service for passengers and goods. „Now we know the order in which the whole thing will work,“ said Wissing. 40 heavily burdened routes are planned to be completely closed for approximately five months each by 2030, and then thoroughly renovated and upgraded.

The demand is high. Almost one in three long-distance travelers on the railway reached their destination in 2022 with at least a 15-minute delay. Only 70.6 percent of passengers arrived at their destination with less delay, according to the Ministry of Transportation. The „traveler punctuality“ deteriorated by ten percentage points from 2021 to 2022. In 2017, over 86 percent of passengers arrived at their destination with less than a 15-minute delay.

Bahn beziffert Bedarf auf 45 Milliarden Euro

„For passengers, the several-month-long full closures of the congested corridors primarily mean further restrictions. „It is all the more important that the planned closures are communicated in a timely manner and that those affected are closely involved,“ Wissing said. „That is why it is important for us to tell people that this is an effort, a challenge, in order to have a better rail experience afterwards.“

To restore the overloaded rail network, the federal government plans to invest around 40 billion euros by 2027. Of this amount, 11.5 billion euros will come from the transportation ministry’s budget. The funding will mainly come from an increase in truck tolls. An additional 12.5 billion euros will be allocated from the climate and investment fund. The railway company will contribute three billion euros from its own resources, potentially through taking on new debts. Initially, the company estimated a financial requirement of 45 billion euros. „We will gradually accumulate the remaining funds in the coming years,“ Wissing promised. By 2024, the equity capital of the state-owned DB AG will already be increased by 1.125 billion euros annually.