Rail boss grube calls for billions for rail network

"In view of the dramatic underfunding, the railroad has an investment backlog of over 30 billion euros in tracks, switches and signal boxes," grube told the news magazine "der spiegel" (monday). The federal states have been complaining for years that too little money is flowing into the network.

Although the federal government and the railroads invest three billion euros in the network every year, more than four billion euros a year are needed to maintain the current quality, the head of the federally owned group explained. "If nothing changes, the backlog will rise to a staggering 50 billion euros by 2020."

The federal government must help with the additional funds, grube demanded. The railroad stands by its commitment to invest two billion euros of its own funds in the network every year. But one thing is clear: "because the railroad has been neglected for decades, we can’t do it alone."

If the investments fail to materialize, there are only two possibilities, said grube: "either the quality of the railroad will drop significantly, so there will be more punctual trains. Or we will have to close stretches."The maintenance of the rail network alone is a task that will occupy the railroad for at least a generation.

The network is outdated, the rail boss complained. "Hundreds of our signal boxes could still be inaugurated by emperor wilhelm."1400 rail bridges are in such a critical condition that immediate action is needed. The principle should therefore be: "the existing network has priority over expansion and new construction." overloaded hubs like hamburg, frankfurt am main or koln had to be expanded. Railroad viaducts are to be replaced so that trains can run faster.

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