Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s state-owned railway company announced plans on Wednesday to invest 12.2 billion euros (13.4 billion dollars) in infrastructure in the coming year.
This is 1.5 billion euros more than in 2019 and would be the biggest sum ever spent by Deutsche Bahn on improving infrastructure, said Ronald Pofalla, a member of the firm’s management board for infrastructure.
“With these funds, we can get our railway network up to speed,” he said in Berlin.
Deutsche Bahn plans to renew around 1,800 kilometres of track and more than 1,900 switches this year. Another 160 bridges are to be modernized.
Germany’s underground and tram networks are also to see improvement in the coming years, after lawmakers in the Bundestag parliament voted in favour of legislative reform that will double the amount of state funding this year to 665 million euros.
A further billion euros per year is planned from 2021, increasing to 2 million euros annually from 2025.
The construction plans could mean disruptions for travellers.
However, improving the country’s railways and getting more people to take the train rather than fly is a key part of Germany’s targets to drastically reduce its carbon footprint in the coming decades.