Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have signed an agreement to increase the existing financing for the digitalisation of Germany’s railway from around 1.7 billion EUR to around 2.7 billion EUR.
In addition, DB has received approval from the federal government to finance the planning of several specific projects in the starter package.
This project will equip all of DB’s routes and rail junctions in Germany with the European Train Control System (ETCS) and digital interlockings. These upgrades will significantly improve the frequency and reliability of trains.
“In order to achieve our climate goals, we need more capacity on the rails quickly. We want to make rail the climate-neutral backbone of our transport system. In addition to renovation and new construction and expansion, digitalisation is a crucial component.
“With the agreements concluded today, we are creating the financial basis for introducing the ETCS train control system and at the same time modernising and digitalising the interlocking landscape in Germany. This immediately ensures more capacity in the existing system and thus quickly more rail services.”
The funds that have been made available will help modernise and digitalise several key corridors.
For example, DB will now initiate further planning for the Scandinavia-Mediterranean corridor between Denmark and Austria with around 307 million EUR in financing. This corridor will be fully equipped with ETCS by the end of 2030.
In addition, a further 83 million EUR has been made available for planning the digital node in Stuttgart, which will allow all train operations in this area to be digitally controlled by 2030.
Meanwhile, around eleven million EUR in planning funds will advance the Cologne-Frankfurt/Main high-speed route. By 2028, DB will equip around 200 kilometres of track with ETCS and digital interlockings for this line.
“In view of the growing volume of traffic, we need more speed to make our rail network more powerful and efficient. In the medium and long term, we focus on expansion and new construction projects as well as the general renovation of important corridors. However, the digitalisation of the infrastructure is a decisive key. Because with the digital rail operations of the future, we can put more trains on the climate-friendly rails without the expensive and time-consuming construction of new tracks. The agreements made with the federal government will therefore decisively advance the digital rail system in Germany.”
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