BERLIN Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing sees an urgent need to act at Deutsche Bahn to ensure a more reliable operation for the millions of passengers and freight train customers. “It cannot remain as it is at the moment. The railroad can and must be better, ”the FDP politician told the German Press Agency. He agreed with railroad chief Richard Lutz. In order to analyze exactly where the problems lie, he had many interviews, incl. with the state group. “The results have turned into a concept that shows how we want to solve the problems.” It should be presented later this month. “I want rail to become a viable alternative for citizens,” said Wissing. “Railways must be able to inspire with attractive trains, efficient frequencies and, above all, punctuality. I want to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to maintain the mobility of society. ” This includes the train. – I see deficits and I want to eliminate them – said the minister. “I’m ambitious.” The railway is currently struggling with operational problems. Lutz achieved his goal of 80% punctuality in long-distance transport this year. Taking into account the punctuality rate, 80 percent of the trains should not arrive at their destination more than six minutes late. The head of railways also announced a “general renovation” of important routes. The aim is therefore to create “high performance networks”. However, rail customers need to be prepared for site closures and diversions. The background is the goal of increasing rail traffic but eliminating the maintenance backlog of the network. “We need to approach this more fundamentally and radically,” Lutz said. “Better one big than many small closures.” From 2024, construction projects are to be processed in a bundle in polluted corridors. Wissing said the network needs to be modernized from scratch. This is the basis for greater punctuality, faster connections and an overall more attractive offer. “A very central measure is that our network must be technically equipped in such a way that when repairing or building a construction site, the operation of the network is disrupted to a minimum and not to a maximum. At the moment, the disturbance to network operation on the construction site is too great. This must be kept to a minimum. There are technical possibilities for this and we want to use them, said the minister. “The renovation of the route must not be at the expense of rail users, otherwise we will lose customers instead of winning them. That is why we have to be very strategic here. once, “explained Wissing. “Otherwise, you would have to accept that everything would stand still for a while. This is not possible. This means that you need to refurbish while operations are in progress. And that is why you need to organize activities in such a way that they proceed quickly and at the same time the operations run smoothly. ” The entire industry and economy have rightly placed this requirement. Wissing also explained about the management of the Deutsche Bahn group: “We need a clear target agreement for the new infrastructure management. Reliability is a key criterion for the position of the railways in competition between transport modes. ‘ Longtime infrastructure director Ronald Pofalla left the track. SPD MP Detlef Müller said it was appreciated that the boss of Wissing and Bahn Lutz made increasing rail reliability a top priority and that he would like to present a suitable concept for improving site planning. “In addition to explaining the operational problems, a clear commitment to rail as the infrastructure carrier of the future is also needed.” This means more funds for the expansion of the railways in the upcoming 2023 budget, a significant acceleration of planning and implementation processes and, above all, a viable concept for the infrastructure division of Deutsche Bahn AG, which is to be created, ‘said Müller. “Here we have a clear expectation from Transport Minister Wissing that deliveries in these areas will be made quickly. It is not just a declaration of will and commitments that is needed, but action. ” The vice-chairman of the rail and transport association EVG, Martin Burkert, said that the railways needed adequate funding for infrastructure. More resources are urgently needed. The first experience with the 9 euro ticket showed that this offer was accepted. “People are ready to take the train, but for that we need sustainability.” Dirk Flege, managing director of the lobbyist association Allianz pro Schiene, also called on Wissing to take action. “How rail traffic can be improved is in the master plan for rail traffic from 2020,” he said. “Since Minister Wissing took office, not a single new measure has been implemented.”
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