GERMANY: Deutsche Bahn, the federal government and regional governments are together expected to invest a record €13·6bn on railway infrastructure projects in 2022, a €900m increase on the figure for 2021.

Infrastructure manager DB Netze expects to renew or upgrade 1 800 km of track, 2 000 turnouts, 140 bridges and 800 stations, with the aim of creating more capacity on the network and making the existing infrastructure more efficient.

The 60 km Wendlingen – Ulm high speed line is due to open later this year, shortening journey times between Stuttgart and Ulm by around 15 min.

DB will continue its digitalisation programme with the roll-out of ETCS across the network. Top priorities will be the pilot project covering the Stuttgart node and the German section of the Scandinavia – Mediterranean TEN-T corridor from Hamburg to the Austrian border at Kufstein via Erfurt and München. This year is also due to see the commissioning of a digital interlocking at Donauwörth, which will be the first to control a section of high speed line.

‘We’re building more than ever before — a real tour de force!’, commented Ronald Pofalla, DB Board Member for Infrastructure. ‘We can only achieve this with a strong professional and highly motivated team, and to do this, we are hiring 4 800 additional engineers and specialists this year.

‘A good infrastructure is the basis for an attractive offer for all passengers’, he explained. ‘We want to convince more people that railway is an environmentally-friendly mean of transport. Every euro spent on rail is therefore a euro spent on climate protection.’