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Deutschlandtakt will probably not be fully implemented until 2070


The nationwide implementation of the interval timetable was originally planned for 2030. However, according to State Secretary for Transport Theurer, it will be decades before the project is fully completed.

It will probably take some time before rail traffic in Germany is switched to a regular timetable. The Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport, State Secretary Michael Theurer (FDP), does not see the German cycle, which is important for the traffic turnaround, fully implemented until 2070. The Deutschlandtakt will be implemented “in the next 50 years as a project of the century,” Theurer told ZDF, according to the report.

It was “always completely clear that this would take decades”. Theurer told the news agency today AFP, the Germany cycle comes “in stages, as planned from the start”. The project “will not be postponed”. Rather, the Federal Ministry of Transport is working on accelerating the project, which will cost around 50 to 60 billion euros.

Presented by Transport Minister Scheuer in 2018

For the Germany cycle based on the Swiss model, rail traffic is to be switched to a nationwide cycle timetable that makes departure times more reliable and predictable for passengers and also makes it easier to change trains. The trains should run every hour in each direction at the same minute – long-distance trains every 60 minutes and on main axes every 30 minutes. Long-distance and regional transport should also be optimally networked with each other.

In 2018, the project was presented by the then Federal Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer. “Together we want to double the number of passengers by 2030 and get more goods on the rails. And with good service and high quality,” he said. Even then, industry expert Gregor Kolbe assumed that the project could not be completed within a few years, but that a “Germany clock” could work in 10 to 20 years. That seems a long way off after today’s announcement.

“Ongoing project that is constantly being developed”

In their coalition agreement, the traffic light parties have defined, among other things, the goal of increasing rail freight traffic to 25 percent by 2030 and doubling the volume of passenger traffic. In addition, “considerably more is to be invested in rail than in road” “in order to prioritize projects of a Germany cycle”.

The Ministry of Transport emphasized on Thursday that the Deutschlandtakt is an “ongoing project that is constantly being developed and adapted to the modernization of the rail network”. The next major stage will be completed with the completion of the Wendlingen-Ulm, Stuttgart 21 line and the general renovation of the Riedbahn in 2025/2026. You will bring about the 30-minute cycle between the major cities of Cologne, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Munich and Nuremberg.

criticism from the opposition

Criticism rained down from the opposition today: The transport policy spokesman for the Union faction in the Bundestag, Thomas Bareiß (CDU), explained that the Union, together with the rail industry, laid the foundation for the Germany cycle early on – now this will be postponed from 2030 to 2070. That is “the admission of the failure of the traffic light”.

The rapporteur for the Union faction for rail, Michael Donth (CDU), was “stunned”. A shift in the Germany clock to 2070 “would be a disaster for the future of German rail transport”.

The Pro-Rail Alliance has now also demanded clarity from the federal government. “We expect that the Federal Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, will not delay the expansion of the rail network any longer and that he will present a binding concept for the gradual implementation of the German cycle before the end of this year,” demanded Managing Director Dirk Flege.