THE Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) has called for an increase in electrification projects in Germany to enable rail to meet climate targets.

VDV says it recognises that electrification projects often fail due to lengthy and complicated planning and approval processes. However, VDV favours electrification over the development of battery and hydrogen vehicles, which it says are heavier and more technically complex.

The group has created proposals for a simplified and faster electrification method. VDV says this could increase electrification of the German network from 60% to 75%. The proposals include using acceleration for electrification projects and to develop a modular system for overhead lines.

VDV says in a new report “Electrification of the railway lines as part of the energy transition” that:

  • electric traction enables significantly higher top speeds due to specific drive power installed in the train
  • electric traction enables heavy freight trains to operate with fewer locomotives and at higher speeds, and
  • electric traction makes it relatively easy to drive many wheelsets, particularly on S-Bahn vehicles, and consequently ensures high acceleration and purely electric braking with energy recovery.

VDV says that routes which have not been electrified could use trains powered by batteries or fuel cells as an alternative to electric power.

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