BERLIN — The German government has announced it will spend 86 billion euros ($125 billion) on improvements to its railways in the next decade, offering “a wealth of opportunities for foreign companies,” according to one German expert.
The government will spend 62 billion euros while the German rail company Deutsche Bahn will contribute the remaining 24 billion euros, a Jan. 14 statement said. The two parties signed the contract guaranteeing the investments — the biggest ever in German history — in Berlin.
The volume of investment represented a 54 per cent increase over the previous administrative period. Part of the spending will be used to renew around 2,000 kilometres of tracks and 2,000 switching points every year, and 2,000 railways bridges will be renovated by the year 2030.
Seven billion euros will be spent on signal-box technology. Deutsche Bahn has said it wants to increase its fleet of rapid ICE 4 trains from 39 to 137.
“The 2020s are going to be a golden era for German rail,” said German Transport and Digital Infrastructure Minister Andreas Scheuer in the statement. “We are signing on to the largest modernization program that’s ever existed in Germany. Our goal is a strong rail network as the basis for active climate protection in transportation.”
“The record size of this investment, plus the scope of areas it involves, will offer a wealth of opportunities for foreign companies as well as German firms to get involved,” said transportation consultant Stefan Di Bitonto of Germany Trade & Invest. “In fact companies from around the world are already taking part in the modernization process.”