Train travel in Germany will improve, transport minister vows
Germany’s Federal Transport Minister, Volker Wissing, has vowed that the country’s largest train company will make major improvements in the coming years to win new customers and provide a more reliable transport service.
German Transport Minister promises improvements at Deutsche Bahn
“It cannot stay the way it is at the moment. Deutsche Bahn can and must improve,” Wissing told dpa in an interview last week. He promised customers better punctuality, faster connections and an overall more attractive service.
“I want rail to become a real alternative for the public,” he said. “Deutsche Bahn must be able to inspire, with attractive trains, efficient timing and, above all, punctuality. I want to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to keep society mobile. I see the deficits and I want to eliminate them.”
Wissing said that he and the state-owned group had started to put together a plan to tackle the problems currently facing long-distance train travel in Germany. The train company is facing a many-layered problem: the urgent need to renovate huge sections of track, while also expanding infrastructure, and at the same time minimising the disruption caused by building works, to avoid putting off customers.
Construction works to bundled together from 2024 to minimise disruption
Wissing’s grand idea is to begin modernising the network from the ground up, to create a basis for better punctuality and faster connections, but to “approach this issue more fundamentally and more radically.” Under the motto, “Better one big than many small closures,” Wissing said that from 2024, construction projects are to be bundled together to keep disruptions concentrated in specific areas, rather than have them plague the network as a whole.
“We have to be very strategic here,” he said. “You can’t do everything that needs to be improved on the network at once. Otherwise, you would have to accept that everything has to stop for a while. That’s not possible… That’s why you have to organise the works in such a way that they progress quickly and at the same time the company continues to run smoothly.”