Allianz pro Schiene Criticises Rail Provisions in German 2019 Budget

The German organisation that works towards increasing rail’s market share, both for passenger and for freight transport, Allianz pro Schiene, has criticised the rail provisions in the German 2019 budget.

Berlin Central Station
Berlin Central Station © Railway-News

On the day prior to the German 2019 budget being passed in Berlin Allianz pro Schiene Director Dirk Flege said:

“The investments in rail infrastructure are going down in 2019. Investment in 2018 was 100 million euros more. Compared to the 2018 budget investments in the rail network are to go down by 50 million euros.”

He went on to say that the doubling of passenger numbers by 2030 announced in the coalition agreement “could not be realised in this way” since the rail network was “completely overextended and in urgent need of expansion” in many places.

Lack of Funding Provisions for the Deutschland-Takt Timetable

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer recently presented a vision with his Deutschland-Takt. Passenger numbers can double with the Deutschland-Takt, he said. In addition, several rail infrastructure projects were declared ‘urgent’. However, there are no funding provisions for these promises yet, the German rail alliance director complained.

Allianz pro Schiene calculations have determined that in 2019 investments in new rail projects and in upgrades will only go up by 4 percent compared to 2018 figures. Meanwhile, the German government is increasing its investment in building new and upgrading existing highways by 45 percent over the same period.

In real terms this means: 1.59 billion euros invested in rail in 2017. 1.65 billion euros set aside for rail in the German 2019 budget. 1.53 billion euros invested in highways in 2017. 2.21 billion euros set aside for highways in the German 2019 budget.

Investment Comparison Between Road and Rail Poor

The state should financially equip all transport providers sufficiently. This would allow them to maintain existing infrastructure in the best-possible manner, says Allianz pro Schiene. However, when it comes to building new infrastructure it is the “state’s duty to set the points towards sustainable mobility”. In light of this a 4 percent increase in rail funding compared to a 45 percent increase in highways funding is a bad choice. Especially considering that this 4 percent increase does not make up for construction price rises in the sector.

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said:

“Rail is not under-funded.”

He went on to say he could not understand the verdict the alliance had reached on the German 2019 budget.

Dirk Flege said:

“For years now Germany has been investing significantly less per capita in rail infrastructure than neighbouring countries. The rail network continues to age.”

Allianz pro Schiene says it is correct that several opposition groups demanded increased investment provisions in the rail infrastructure during the 2019 budget negotiations. Both the Green Party and The Left party said the state should increase investment in the rail network.

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