With current arrangements due to expire in the next few years, no agreements have yet been reached between the German federal government and the 16 federal states on the structure of the replacements and as a result how much money might be available.

These are the findings of "The Germany Railway Market," the latest study conducted by German consulting group SCI Verkehr, which describes the situation as unique in the history of Germany since the country was reunified.

The study finds that Germany is the largest market for rail transport in Europe with a market volume of €21.5bn for transport services, and €8.3bn for railway technology in 2011, the year in which German Rail (DB) placed a €6bn order for up to 300 ICx trains which will replace long-distance locomotive-hauled trains from 2016. This is DB's largest single order in its history.

SCI forecasts that the market for regional emus will grow by 11% by 2016, while various medium and large scale infrastructure projects will also stimulate demand. However, SCI says no agreement has yet been reached on the terms of the updated German Federal Transport Plan, which was first issued in 2003 and is due to expire in 2015. The plan stipulates annually what funds are available to regional transport authorities to purchase rolling stock and fund the costs of operations.

Negotiations are also continuing between the 16 states and the federal government on the replacement of the Act on Financial Aid for the German Municipalities, which dates from 1969-1971, and like the Transport Plan, it is expected to be well into next year before an agreement between all parties is reached.

SCI says that if the situation is not resolved soon, the market could be placed under a cloud of uncertainty as companies shy away from bidding for contracts because of a lack of funding security. And with Germany's federal elections scheduled for September, and the further uncertainty that its results might bring, SCI says that this could be become an increasingly pressing issue for German rail transport now and in the  short-term.