DB and northern German states team up to fast-track rail expansion

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the five northern federal states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday for the fast-track expansion of railways and services in the north of Germany. The alliance, Future Northern Rail, aims to commit 30 billion euro’s to the endeavour.

Under the Future Northern Rail programme, work will be carried across Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein with the ultimate aim of moving greater number of passengers and freight to the railways.

The alliance aims to do by revamping the existing infrastructure of the local network, the long-distance tracks as well as the railways for freight. This should increase capacity. In order to speed up the development and execution of future project, the federal states and DB have agreed to a joint planning system.

State politicians have lauded the move, saying it coordination among the states will make planning more effective and and faster. It will also facilitate investment, the stakeholders believe. The alliance will also be taking measures to ensure train services can continue along construction sites.

Some 30 billion euros is to be channeled to the various project through 2030, the participants say. These include additional electrification projects in the State of Schleswig-Holstein, better connections in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and streamlining logistics in and around Hamburg.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

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