GERMAN Rail (DB), the federal government and the federal states will spend €13.6bn this year on modernising and renewing Germany’s rail infrastructure, an increase of €900m compared with last year.

This work will include renewing around 1800km of track, 2000 switches, 140 bridges and 800 stations with the aim of creating more capacity and improving efficiency.

DB says it will push ahead with its digitisation projects, with a focus on the work on the Digital Node Stuttgart and the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor from Hamburg via Erfut and Munich to the Austrian border near Kufstein. Rolling out ETCS use across the domestic network will also continue, and the first digital interlocking on a high-speed line will begin operating in Donauwörth.

DB says the 59.6km 250km/h high-speed line between Wendlingen and Ulm will also commence operations at the end of 2022 as planned after testing on the new line began last year.

Other projects highlighted by DB to increase capacity include:

  • extension and construction of the Karlsruhe - Basel line with a four-track extension and line speed increase to 250km/h
  • construction of a second tunnel under the city centre to relieve the existing route on the Munich S-Bahn main line
  • track doubling and continuous electrification of the Angermünde - Polish border section of the line to Szczecin
  • track doubling extension between Weddel and Fallersleben on the Braunschweig - Wolfsburg line
  • construction of a new S-Bhan Line 4 between Hamburg and Bad Oldesloe
  • bridgework, track replacement and superstructure work for additional capacity between Demmin and Stralsund (Berlin northern railway)
  • three-track expansion between Oberhausen and Emmerich and the Dutch border
  • extensive expansion measures between Cologne and Dortmund
  • increase capacity and construct the electronic interlocking at Gelnhausen
  • reconstruction of the Eifel lines and Ahr Valley Railway after flooding, and
  • expansion and construction of new infrastructure for 160km/h operation on the Saxony - Franconia Magistrale line.

Mr Ronald Pofalla, DB chief infrastructure officer, said that 4800 additional engineers and specialists were also being recruited to support capital expansion projects as well as maintenance.

The Wendlingen - Ulm high-speed line is one of IRJ’s 20 Projects to watch in 2022. The feature was published in the January edition of the magazine. Digital subscribers can read the article here.

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