Decommissioned railroad lines remain closed

Wed 28th Sep, 2022

Photo by Johannes PlenioIn the view of several transport associations, the federal and state governments are still making little progress with the reactivation of once-disused rail lines. Since last year's federal election, "not a single kilometer of rail line in Germany" has been reactivated so far, said Dirk Flege, managing director of the pro-rail alliance in Berlin on Monday. "That's a very sobering signal, even against the backdrop of the coalition agreement, which states unequivocally and without qualification: 'We will reactivate lines.'"

One of the reasons: According to Flege, states and municipalities initially waited this year for a new legal basis for the cost-benefit calculation for the rehabilitation of old rail lines, which came into force in July.

Flege assessed this as progress compared to older regulations and assumes that some lines will be reactivated this year after all for the timetable change in December. These include one-kilometer sections in Beelitz in Brandenburg and Einbeck in Lower Saxony. "However, we only expect a single-digit kilometer number of reactivated lines in December as well," he said.

In an updated brochure, the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) proposes a total of almost 280 so-called deactivated lines with a total length of almost 4,600 kilometers that could be considered for reactivation. From the association's point of view, hundreds of thousands of people could be reconnected to the rail network in this way and rail services could be significantly improved.

Photo by Johannes Plenio


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