GERMAN Rail (DB) has developed a preliminary renewal plan, which identifies 40 highly-congested sections of the national railway which are to be upgraded to create a high-performance network.

The sections in need of renewal in the short, medium or long term were identified using various criteria, and prioritised in consultation with the German rail sector. DB will refer to the resulting report during further talks with the federal government, which will make the final decision on the plans.

Under its high-capacity network strategy, DB is planning to bundle maintenances activities to reduce the overall time a section of track is out of service. This includes renewal of sleepers and ballast, tracks and points, signalling and signalboxes as well as stations. The strategy intends to only close a line once so that it will not require additional maintenance for several years.

“We want to upgrade the highly-congested sections of our rail network to a high-performance network by 2030,” says DB infrastructure director, Mr Berthold Huber. “The first corridors have already been defined: the general refurbishment of the Riedbahn between Frankfurt and Mannheim will begin in the summer of 2024, followed a year later by the Hamburg - Berlin and Emmerich - Oberhausen sections. After that, the federal government will decide how and where to continue.”

A feature on Germany’s infrastructure troubles appeared in the September issue of IRJ. Digital subscribers can read it here.