Deutsche Bahn (DB) has developed a preliminary rail infrastructure plan to renew the heavily used lines and identified 40 such sections to be upgraded to deliver increased capacity.
Based on various criteria, the identified sections have a total length of 4,200 km and need to be renovated in the short, medium or long term, in the period up to 2030.
To implement the rail infrastructure plan, DB started a series of dialogue events with the railway industry to establish the affected routes and the resulting working paper will be the basis for further negotiations with the federal government which ultimately decides on the concept.
“We want to upgrade the heavily used sections of our rail network to a high-performance network. The first corridors have already been determined: the general renovation of the Riedbahn between Frankfurt/Main and Mannheim will begin in the summer of 2024, with the corridor sections Hamburg – Berlin and Emmerich – Oberhausen following a year later. After that, the federal government will decide how or where to continue,” Berthold Huber the DB Board Member for Infrastructure said.
In November 2022, DB announced that Hamburg – Berlin and Emmerich – Oberhausen routes will enter comprehensive renovation work to deliver increased capacity and reliability. These two lines are one of the busiest routes on German rail network.
In principle, all route sections with particularly high utilisation and particularly fault-prone infrastructure systems are suitable for a general renovation. With its new approach, DB intends to bundle construction measures much more closely than before and to completely renew routes that are in need of rehabilitation within the shortest possible period of time. This includes sleepers and ballast, tracks and switches, signaling and signal boxes as well as the stations. This means that the route will be closed once, after which no major construction work will be necessary for several years.
In addition, the refurbished sections will be significantly more efficient, will have a first-class standard of equipment and will be prepared for the future digital railway operation.
DB plans to consistently replace the old technology on the identified railway lines to reduce the number of sections currently operating with traditional systems. In addition, the long-term planning of diversions and rail replacement services ensures that passengers and goods reliably reach their destinations even during the general renovations.