German government wants to reduce the number of railroad crossings

The experts of Transport Minister Scheuer have identified the many bottlenecks in the rail network for the delays of the train. One of the outlined remedial measures actually sounds plausible.

The German Federal Ministry of Transport wants to eliminate bottlenecks in the rail network and also abolish more level crossings. The goal is that trains can travel faster – and be more punctual. In addition, it is planned to relieve municipalities in the financing of bridges and underpasses, as shown by a bill to accelerate planning and approval procedures in the transport sector. The draft is to be decided on Wednesday by the cabinet.

So far, the federal government, railways and municipalities each contribute a third of the costs when it comes to eliminating level crossings. According to information from the rail industry, however, this means that many level crossings can not be abolished – because many municipalities can not afford their share. In the future, the federal government will bear half, the railroad a third, and the country where the intersection lies, one-sixth of the costs.The new regulation should provide an impetus to speedily eliminate level crossings with increased risk potential or high road and rail traffic loads, according to the draft. “Without the funding share of the municipalities, the planning of such measures is likely to accelerate significantly, since local decision-making processes are eliminated or simplified.”

Passenger lobby satisfiedNecessary investments in the railway network should be effective in the past and efficiency should be improved. “Because the removal of level crossings not only serves to increase traffic safety, but also the punctuality in rail traffic through less susceptible to systems of control and safety technology,” it says in the bill. This would result in capacity increases in operations and speed increases in passenger transport – thereby shifting traffic to the railways.

Dirk Flege, the general manager of the alliance pro rail alliance, expressed his satisfaction with the initiative: “We welcome the intended changes to the Railroad Crossing Act, which will relieve the burden on local rail companies and accelerate rail investment Climate protection in traffic to get ahead. ” According to the German Pro-Rail Alliance, there were around 23,500 level crossings in Germany in 2015, and the number of railways is 16,391 (31.12.2018).

More punctuality, more capacity

In addition to level crossings, the draft bill also aims to redevelop roads and waterways more quickly: “In view of the large number of urgent infrastructure projects in Germany, it is essential to accelerate the planning and approval procedures.”

Strengthening rail is a central issue in the climate protection program of the black-red coalition – so that more people use the environmentally friendly railway. Billions of investments are expected to bring more punctuality and more capacity in the coming years. Bottlenecks in the network should be eliminated. The Federal Government wants to massively increase its funds for the rehabilitation of the often dilapidated rail network.