Germany To Reopen 4,000 km of Closed Railway Lines

What is happening elsewhere is not happening here.

Instead, in BC government is squandering  billions of dollars on uneconomic ‘rapid transit‘ lines to suit their electoral and bureaucratic needs.

Rapid Transit is needed infrastructure” is the claim by government, except the politicians making the decisions do not have a clue what rapid transit is or what type of infrastructure is needed.

Years of SkyTrain ‘rapid transit‘ propaganda in BC has lead to the present financially disastrous decisions being made for regional transit in metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan.

It is a no-brainier to use existing railways rights of ways or lightly used freight lines to extend transit into areas otherwise too expensive to service.

But, alas in BC, what is smart planning elsewhere, is ignored in here as the government and senior bureaucrats wants photo-ops in front of big ticket transit projects, that will eventually beggar the taxpayer.

Sadly, rapid transit has become a very expensive political tar-baby; an expensive addiction that grows more and more expensive with every new line built.

Have the NDP have forgotten the lessons of the “FastFerry” debacle making the same mistakes again?

It seems so!

The Germans understand the the issues very well and one would wish that our politicians would take the time and “read a book on the subject“!


Rebuilding a mothballed rail line in Germany

‘Rail comeback’ could reopen 4 000 km of closed lines

9 July 2020


GERMANY: More than 200 closed, mothballed or freight-only lines could be reopened to serve 291 towns and a population of around 3 million people, according to proposals drawn up by the Association of German Transport Companies VDV and rail lobby group Allianz pro Schiene.

The two organizations have updated a list of routes proposed for reopening, which was originally drawn up in May 2019. Adding 55 projects with a combined length of 963 km brings the list to 238 lines with a total length of 4 016 km, about half of which they believe could be electrified.

Speaking at a conference on the ‘comeback of rail’ on July 9, Chairman of the VDV Committee for Railway Infrastructure Jörgen Bosse explained that ‘if rail is to be the transport mode of the 21st century then we must look at the whole country and not just at major cities and conurbations or long-distance travel. In Germany around 70% of people live in small or middle-sized towns or in the countryside. For this big majority of the population we need efficient and environmentally-friendly rail services. It’s about protection of the climate and also about equivalence of living conditions.’

Allianz pro Schiene Managing Director Dirk Flege suggested that by taking the opportunity to reactivate closed lines ‘we can halt the decades-long withdrawal of rail from rural areas and turn it round. That’s a recipe for success to achieve a better transport mix in the future’.

The associations reported that 933 km of route had been reopened for passenger traffic between 1994 and 2020, with 364 km reopened for freight. However, over the same period passenger services had been withdrawn from lines totaling 3 600 km, with freight lines also showing a negative balance. The national network had thus shrunk from 44 600 km to 38 500 km.

VDV and Allianz pro Schiene noted that reopening five lines in the most densely populated areas currently without rail service would provide access to trains for 300 000 people.

The two organizations point to changes in the Gemeindeverkehrsfinanzierungsgesetz (Municipal Transport Financing Law) that have improved the options for potential reopenings, stimulating activity at local and Land level to develop viable proposals. ‘We think that this will accelerate the reactivation of closed lines in the coming years’, Bosse predicted.

GERMANY: More than 200 closed, mothballed or freight-only lines could be reopened to serve 291 towns and a population of around 3 million people, according to proposals drawn up by the Association of German Transport Companies VDV and rail lobby group Allianz pro Schiene.

A new German regional rail service.


2 Responses to “Germany To Reopen 4,000 km of Closed Railway Lines”
  1. Haveacow says:

    It’s very interesting to me that, one of those new railways pictured in the article is using the same Coradia Lint 41 DMU’s that Ottawa used and will continue to use once the Trillium Line reopens after it’s current expansion is complete in 2022. For such a rural looking route it’s amazing that a two car train is necessary. Before closure, the Trillium Line used only single car DMU equipped trains, with an all day, both directions, 12 minute frequency, operating 19 hours a day. Each 41 metre long DMU can hold up to 260 passengers (with Ottawa’s seating configuration), running a diesel LRT like service on a legally speaking, commuter rail equipped line.

    Before shutting down to begin upgrades and expansion, the Trillium Line (Line #2) was moving 15,000 passengers a day, using only 4 single car trains, on a mostly single track line, with 2 more DMU’s in reserve. Each station platform is 35 metres long and is being expanded to a length of 80 metres. This is the perfect model for a line in the Fraser Valley.!/fileImage/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/16x9_780/o-train-trillium-line-ottawa-rail-bayview-carling.JPG

    This picture shows 2 DMU’s passing each other on the Gladstone passing track (the left hand track is the passing track). This will be the site of the future Gladstone Station in 2022.

  2. Peter says:

    BC should reopen the rail line on Vancouver island. It could reduce the traffic on highway.

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