New coalition agreement provides opportunities for rail transport
In the coalition agreement dated February 7, 2018, the Union parties and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) declared their commitment to the integrated DB Group. A “rail pact” of politics and the economy should double the number of passengers by 2030 and bring more freight transport to the railways. The key demands made by industry associations, such as the reduction of train-path prices, the implementation of a synchronized timetable for all of Germany and the promotion of innovation, have been taken on board. Other important measures listed in the agreement include a capital expenditure ramp-up and adequate financing for the BVWP 2030, the implementation of the master plan for rail freight transport, including the creation of a country-wide network for 740-meter-long freight trains, a Planning Acceleration Act (Planungsbeschleuni-gungsgesetz), the use of BIM for all newly planned infrastructure projects as well as a digitalization campaign including the expansion of the ETCS and the digitalization of interlockings.
The coalition agreement is subject to the outcome of the vote by members of the SPD, which will run until March 2, 2018.