The new year 2024 has just begun. But the debates about the future of the German rail infrastructure are already starting again. The President of the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) Prof. Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Russwurm criticised that there is currently “definitely too little capacity” in the German rail network. The infrastructure is overloaded and in need of renovation, permits and construction take too long. The managing director of the network NEE – DIE GÜTERBAHNEN (THE FREIGHT RAILWAYS) Peter Westenberger agreed with the criticism: “Fewer tracks instead of the more required ones make the growth of rail more difficult, including in freight transport.”
On December 11, 2023, at 8:49 a.m., a Rail Cargo Carrier – Croatia (RCC) freight train derailed on a single-track route between Meja and Škrljevo stations. It collided with a railcar belonging to the Croatian Railway Infrastructure Company (HŽ Infrastructura). Traffic on this railway line of the Mediterranean Corridor to the port of Rijeka is completely suspended until the investigation is completed and tracks are cleared and repaired. Passenger transport was replaced by buses. Repair times can take a longer time.
The break-up of the French state-owned rail freight company Fret SNCF has begun. In the economic service “actu transport logistics” on November 27, 2023, SNCF freight sales and marketing director Edouard Laverny explained: “Between December 10 and January 1, 2024, 13 of the 23 affected traffic flows will be converted.” In other words: Fret SNCF is already in the process of handing over a large proportion of commercially interesting transport contracts to the competition.
As of December 1, 2023, the toll for trucks on Germany's motorways and federal highways was almost doubled. This is a significant burden on the road freight transport industry. But the “SHIFT 2030” initiative has the right “medicine” ready: KV Akut! The medication package says: “KV acute” with the “combined transport (KV) active ingredient” has a threefold effect: against toll complaints, against a lack of drivers and to inhibit CO2 – “daily use recommended”…
The European Locomotive Leasing Group (ELL) is entering the last month of 2023 with a bang. On November 30, the Vienna-based company signed a framework agreement with Siemens Mobility (Munich) for the delivery of up to 200 additional Vectron locomotives. Locomotives will be procured in various power system configurations that can be used in both passenger and freight transport.
The German Federal Constitutional Court (BVG) has banned the federal government from using so-called special funds that had previously served other purposes to cover planned government spending. The resulting funding gap is forcing the government and budget politicians to fundamentally reassess planned expenditure.
The network of non-federally owned freight railways in Germany NEE has accused the administrator of the federal railway infrastructure, Deutsche Bahn Netz, of performing an "emergency stop on rail network framework agreements". The German federal government and the Bundestag should now "seize the opportunity to implement the Deutschlandtakt concept properly".