THE German Parliament has agreed to provide funding for the construction of new non-federally owned freight railway lines.

The new provisions were agreed under the Railway Law Consolidation Act, with the funding to be made available via amendments to the existing Rail Freight Transport Network Funding Act (SGFFG).

The decision was welcomed by German lobby group Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), which has pushed for the policy change. Federal funds have been available for the maintenances of existing privately owned lines since 2013 but were not available for new construction.

VDV president, Mr Ingo Wortmann, said in a press release that the VDV is particularly pleased that railways in ports are once again eligible for the new federal funding, as they are extremely important for rail freight transport.

“The climate protection targets recently tightened by the European Union can only be achieved if a lot more goods are transported by rail,” Wortmann says. “To do this, we need efficient railways in the ports - and that is why it is extremely important that the port railways are included in the SGFFG funding envelope again.”