Themes: Europe
10. July 2015

“Europe is finally starting to focus on rail transport”

CEF: EU transfers 1.6 billion for German rail projects

Good news for rail construction: up until 2020, the EU will be massively investing in Europe’s transport networks, with numerous rail projects being selected.

Berlin, July 10 2015. The German Pro-Rail Alliance has welcomed the European Union’s decision, effective as of today, to invest the first tranche of more than 13 billion euros in European transport projects by 2020. According to calculations made by the Pro-Rail Alliance, a total of 1.7 billion euros from the EU grant fund CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) will go to Germany, with more than 1.6 billion euros alone being spent on German rail projects. “It is good news that EU policy makers are now being to shift their focus to railway infrastructure,” said Dirk Flege, managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, on Friday in Berlin. “The climate policy targets for modal shift in the EU’s Whitepaper on Transport are finally being given practical support: massive investments in railway infrastructure are consistent with this,” added Flege, praising the federal government for, in the words of EU commissioner Violeta Bulc, making well prepared applications. “Since the Commission had a large pile of project applications to get through, federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt can also ascribe the above average performance of German railway projects to his own successful power of persuasion.”

The EU gave special preference to funding applications for projects of a ‘cross-border nature’. Projects receiving funding include the German connection to the Betuwe route between Emmerich and Oberhausen (funding of up to 33 million euros), the feeder line to the Gotthard tunnel between Karlsruhe and Basel (354 million euros) and the rail freight line between Horka and the Polish border (33 million euros). The reconstruction of the Kattwyk bridge in the port of Hamburg also made it onto the list of funded projects (around 9 million euros). The new line between Wendlingen and Ulm (433 million euros) and Stuttgart to Wendlingen (594 million euros), including the Stuttgart 21 project, both received sums of money from the EU grant fund.

“There is also good news in the fine print,” said the Pro-Rail Alliance manager. “For the first time, the EU is making money available for retrofitting loud freight wagons with low-noise brakes,” said Flege, welcoming the fact that noise abatement and investments in rail infrastructure are finally being regarded “as a single package”.

Video statement by Dirk Flege, managing director of the Pro-Rail Alliance (German)

 

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