\r\n\u201cThe tasks are clearly defined: the federal transport ministry should quickly conclude its evaluation process for the 740m network, which has now finally begun, thus enabling the federal parliament to debate the relevant legislation in October,\u201d Flege says.\r\n \r\nFlege estimates that the 66 upgrade measures identified by Germany\u2019s infrastructure manager DB Networks will only cost between \u20ac200m and \u20ac300m. \u201cThe measures will greatly benefit the economy and the environment and are not difficult to implement,\u201d Flege says. \u201cIt often only involves moving signals and extending passing loops.\u201d\r\nOnly 11% of freight trains in Germany are longer than 700m, while 64% are less than 600m long. \u201cUpgrading the network for longer freight trains would also be an efficiency boost,\u201d says the chairman of DB Cargo, Mr J\u00fcrgen Wilder. \u201cThe length of the train is our most effective lever for lowering the unit cost in rail freight transport, as was demonstrated by our pilot project for longer freight trains on the Maschen (Hamburg) - Padborg route.\u201d\r\n\u201cLonger freight trains are already operating in neighbouring countries,\u201d Flege says. \u201cDenmark has trains with a length of 835m, and France is planning freight trains measuring 1000m from 2018.\u201d But trains often have to be reduced in length when they reach the German border which increases operating costs and reduces network capacity.\r\nMr Michail Stahlhut, chairman of SBB Cargo International, also wants train lengths to be increased. \u201cBecause the new Gotthard tunnel is built for 750m trains, we can transport around 30% more freight using the same number of trains,\u201d Stahlhut says. \u201cThe Gotthard tunnel is a massive opportunity for Europe\u2019s rail freight sector. Italy is already making its network fit for 740m trains. In the German government\u2019s current infrastructure plan, a decision on long freight trains has surprisingly been put on hold.\u201d\r\nThe European Commission want all routes on Europe\u2019s core rail networks to be upgraded to allow 750m freight trains to operate by 2030.