The projects comprise 22 line upgrading schemes, six projects to relieve congestion at major junctions, measures to allow the introduction of 740m-long freight trains, and initiatives associated with the introduction of a national regular-interval timetable.

“We are putting additional rail projects on the track, which will be a real win for the entire rail network and the regions,” Scheuer says. “With them we eliminate bottlenecks, create more capacity and provide the infrastructure for the German regular-interval timetable. Our goals are: shorter travel times and better connections, also in the metropolitan areas. We are taking another giant step towards more punctual and reliable rail and the wow effect on rail.”

“The expansion of the nodes is the key to a powerful rail network,” says Mr Enak Ferlemann, federal rail transport commissioner. “This benefits both long-distance and freight traffic and regional traffic alike. Attractive rail traffic in the metropolitan regions not least improves air quality and is thus a sustainable investment in the future. The planning of the projects must start now in a timely manner.”

The following line upgrading projects have given the highest priority:

Munich - Mühldorf - Freilassing

Nurnemberg - Erfurt

Nurnemberg - Schwandorf/Munich - Regensburg - Furth-im-Wald - Czech border

Dutch border - Kaldenkirchen - Viersen - Rheydt-Odenkirchen

Augsburg - Donauwörth

Gotha - Leinefelde

Stuttgart - Backnang/Schwäbisch Gmünd - Aalen - Nurnemberg

Kehl - Appenweier

Landshut - Plattling

Lübeck - Schwerin

Weimar - Gera - Gößnitz

Regensburg - Mühldorf

Niebüll - Klanxbüll

Studernheimer curve (Ludwigshafen)

Hamburg - Ahrensburg

Dresden - Prague

Lehrte/Hameln - Braunschweig - Magdeburg - Roßlau

Cuxhaven - Stade

Münster - Lünen

Leipzig - Chemnitz

Wilster - Brunsbüttel, and

Berlin - Angermünde - Pasewalk - Stralsund.

In addition, lines in the Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, Mannheim and Munich areas will be upgraded to eliminate bottlenecks on the network. The Cologne - Aachen line will also be upgraded in connection with the national regular-interval timetable project.

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