The autobahn network in Germany grows by around 10,000 kilometers every year. Things are different when it comes to rail expansion: just 74 kilometers are planned. “That’s almost nothing,” says one expert.
According to information from the Network of European Railways (NEE), only 74.4 kilometers of new track will be built this year. “That’s almost nothing,” said the CEO, Ludolf Kerkeling, on Wednesday. Mainly competitors of Deutsche Bahn are organized in the NEE. “At this rate, we cannot achieve a more efficient rail that will help us with our climate protection goals,” said Kerkeling. While the expansion of the railway infrastructure is making little progress, around 10,000 kilometers of new roads are being built every year.
According to its own statements, the NEE relies on data from the railway infrastructure subsidiary DB Netz and the Federal Railway Authority (EBA). The German rail network covers a total of around 33,400 kilometers. Experts have long been demanding that this infrastructure must grow quickly and significantly in order to be able to handle the additional demand in rail traffic that is being sought.
According to NEE, a large part of the new rail kilometers this year will be the almost 60-kilometer-long new Wendlingen-Ulm line, which is scheduled to go into operation when the timetable changes in December. Another new construction project is two additional tracks between Erfurt and Nuremberg with a total length of 8.4 kilometers. However, the association also takes into account upcoming electrifications.