FOLLOWING complaints by Germany’s private railways, the Federal Cartel Office has ruled that third parties are free to supply electricity to the 162/3Hz high voltage grid which feeds DB’s traction substations. Until now this has been operated exclusively by DB subsidiary DB Energie GmbH. A report commissioned by 28 of the private operators confirmed that it is technically feasible for third parties to feed power into the 162/3Hz grid. Such parties have previously supplied power exclusively to the 50Hz national grid, and DB has warned that the two networks are ’technically not comparable’.

The ruling requires DB Energie to provide for third party power by January 2004 at the latest. The group of private railways, known as Netzwerk Privatbahnen, hopes that it will in future be possible to ’have transparency in the pricing of power supply’, and that this will lead to the end of discriminatory pricing in favour of DB’s subsidiary companies. On August 29, DB said it had been ’in constructive dialogue’ with the Cartel Office and the Federal Railway Office since 2002 about a market-orientated power supply network. Proposals were to be put to DB Energie’s customers last month.

  • The National Transport Infrastructure Plan (RG 8.03 p484) includes in the list of priority projects electrification of the 69 km from Spremberg to G