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Pro-Rail Alliance welcomes Ramsauer’s plans for expanding the network

Press release 24.12.2009
 

Pro-Rail Alliance welcomes Ramsauer’s plans for expanding the network

“The minister is still vague on funding, however”

railroad switch

©iStockphoto.com/mmac72

Berlin. The German Pro-Rail Alliance has welcomed federal transport minister Peter Ramsauer’s plans for expanding the rail network. “We fully support the targets. What is missing however is the minister’s funding concept. If you pin all your hopes on public-private partnerships for financing transport infrastructure while at the same time categorically ruling out any increase in motorway charges on HGVs, you will face serious problems trying to fund railway expansion,” said Pro-Rail Alliance managing director Dirk Flege on Thursday in Berlin.


In an interview for the Christmas issue of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Ramsauer said that he wanted any increase in the volume of freight transport “to be put onto the railways as much as possible” since the road network would not be able to “cope” with the extra load. The minister added: “This is a very ambitious target because it means that we have to make more efficient use of the railway network, as well as expanding it. In addition, we will need completely new lines.”

In order to enable the railways to make full use of their potential to handle the traffic load, additional annual investments of at least one billion euros will be required for expanding the network and any new projects, said Flege. “However, the minister remains vague on how this extra spending will be financed,” according to the railway alliance’s managing director. Ramsauer’s much lauded public-private partnerships cannot easily be adapted to the railways.


However, Flege still promised his full support to help the minister realise his plans for expanding the railway network. “The federal rail network has shrunk by some 16 percent since 1990. If it were to expand during federal transport minister Peter Ramsauer’s tenure in office, the CSU politician will have earned a place of honour among his colleagues.”

 

Allianz pro Schiene is the German alliance for the promotion of environmentally friendly and safe rail transport. It unites 17 non-profit organisations: the environmental organisations BUND, NABU, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and NaturFreunde Deutschlands; the consumer groups Pro Bahn, DBV and VCD; the automobile clubs ACE and ACV; the three rail unions TRANSNET, GDBA and GDL as well as the rail organisations BDEF, BF Bahnen, FEANDC, VBB and VDEI. Its member associations represent more than 2 million individual members. Allianz pro Schiene is supported by 93 companies operating in the rail sector.

 

Dr. Barbara Mauersberg
Press Officer

phone: +49 30 2462599 20
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