THREE lines in the Eifel region of Germany that were damaged in storms last summer will be modernised and electrified as part of their reconstruction following the signing of a €400m agreement by transport minister, Ms Ina Brandes, German Rail (DB) chief infrastructure officer, Mr Ronald Pofalla, and Rhineland Transport Authority managing director, Dr Norbert Reinkober.

Lines to be electrified include the Eifel Line from Hürth-Kalscheuren via Kall to the state border with Rhineland-Palatinate, the Voreifel Line between Bonn and Euskirchen, and the Erfttal line between Euskirchen and Bad Münstereifel.

While electrification was already planned for these lines, this will be accelerated after the federal government announced it will provide the financing to DB under the Municipal Transport Financing Act.

“Thanks to the initiative of North Rhine-Westphalia, the federal government has created the legal prerequisites to accelerate the electrification of railway lines in the course of reconstruction,” Brandes says. “Therefore, the upgrading of the three important Eifel lines can also take place more quickly. Clean electric trains on modernised railway lines at denser intervals will significantly improve mobility and thus the quality of life of the people in the region in the future. At the same time, we are making a strong contribution to climate protection.”

“The terrible flood disaster had devastating consequences,” Reinkober says. “However, we are now looking ahead and, together with the state and the DB, we want to use the opportunity arising from the disaster for a sustainable expansion.”