Deutsche Bahn announces 19-billion-euro investment in new trains
Deutsche Bahn has released the details of another spending offensive: the German rail operator is planning to invest more than 19 billion euros in new locomotives and trains by 2030, its largest modernisation programme to date.
Deutsche Bahn unveils investment in “trains of the future”
“We are now investing in the trains of the future,” Deutsche Bahn CEO Richard Lutz told the Innotrans rail technology trade show in Berlin on Wednesday. He explained that the updated and expanded fleet would help increase capacity on in-demand routes and generally make the network more climate-friendly, reliable and customer-friendly.
The company plans to have 450 extra ICE trains operating in Germany by 2030, to encourage more and more people to switch from driving to long-distance train travel. From 2023, three new ICE trains will go into operation every month.
As well as updating carriage interiors to look more modern and homely and purchasing extra ICE 4 and ICE 3 Neo trains, Deutsche Bahn is investing in new, accessible ICE L trains, which provide step-free access from the platform to the train. ICE L trains will first be introduced on the route between Berlin and Amsterdam from autumn 2024. At the trade fair, Deutsche Bahn also unveiled its new design for double-decker regional trains, which will be used in Bavaria from spring 2023.
The purchase of new trains will be accompanied by heavy investment in rail infrastructure across the country, Lutz explained. Deutsche Bahn has previously announced plans to extensively renovate its rail network by 2030, expanding capacity and improving reliability.
German public shows increasing appetite for train travel
As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced last week, customers in Germany are showing an increasing appetite for train travel, a development which will likely be fuelled by the chaotic scenes witnessed at airports over the summer and the rising price of fuel.
In the first six months of 2022, almost 4,8 billion passengers used train services in Germany, 36 percent more than in the first six months of the previous year. The increase was particularly strong in the second quarter of 2022 (even before the 9-euro ticket), when regional services transported 64 percent more people than in the previous year.