Track construction work in Hamburg (archive picture)
Photo: Georg Wendt / dpa
Success reports are rather rare for Deutsche Bahn in the pandemic.
New negative records in passenger numbers and debt levels dominate the headlines.
But that is about to change, at least as far as the investment volume in the more than 30,000-kilometer-long rail network is concerned.
According to SPIEGEL information, the railway wants to announce a record: 12.7 billion euros are to be used by the end of 2021 to enable punctual and fast train traffic.
The board member responsible for the network, Ronald Pofalla, wants to announce this this Friday.
Over 1900 kilometers of tracks, more than 2000 switches, 140 bridges and 670 train stations are to be tackled.
"New network for Germany" is what those responsible call their program, which, in addition to income from the use of the networks by the railways and private operators, is primarily financed by the state.
1300 smart switches are supposed to avoid almost 5000 malfunctions
To this end, 2000 engineers and 1700 so-called maintenance staff are to be recruited.
The construction management staff for more modern train stations is also expected to grow by 20 percent.
The railway managers want to implement major projects 25 percent faster than in the past.
Digital planning tools should also increasingly help.
At the Berlin headquarters, special attention is paid to the switches and their digital monitoring.
Sensors should announce malfunctions before they have occurred so that the repair teams can replace them before the schedule is disrupted.
1300 of these smart switches are supposed to avoid almost 5000 malfunctions.
Another pillar of the renewal program will be the further digitization of the rail control.
The freight line from the Rhine to the Alps is due to be modernized, also the Cologne node, the renovation of the high-speed line Hanover-Würzburg and Kassel-Göttingen is to be tackled.
The tracks between Hamburg and Berlin also have to be renewed.
Special construction site management, so the railroaders hope, will keep the effects on the travelers within limits.
However, it is unlikely that the record punctuality of the past year will be achieved again this year alongside the record investments.
Icon: The mirror