BERLIN: German rail operator Deutsche Bahn will put a record sum into renovating and expanding its network in 2022, the company said yesterday, as Europe’s largest economy seeks to decarbonize transport. Deutsche Bahn and the federal and regional governments will together invest 13.6 billion euros ($15.4 billion) in rail infrastructure, the group said in a statement. The figure is 900 million euros higher than the investments made in 2021. The funds would go “above all to increasing the capacity” and towards the “digitalization” of the rail network, said the operator, whose stock is completely held by the state. “Every euro invested in rail is a euro that goes towards the protection of the environment,” said Ronald Pofalla, the Deutsche Bahn executive responsible for infrastructure.

The investments will be made in close cooperation with the federal government, which sees rail expansion as a top priority as part of its plan to green the transport network. In 2020, the government then led by Angela Merkel set a target to double rail passenger numbers by 2030, a goal which has been embraced by the new government led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, in power since December. The state has committed to putting 62 billion euros into the rail network over 10 years. Deutsche Bahn announced earlier in the week that it was purchasing 43 new high-speed trains from Siemens for 1.5 billion euros. The new units will bring Deutsche Bahn’s high-speed fleet up to “450 trains... by the end of the decade”, it said. — AFP