Transformation into a high-performance network
In June 2022, the BMDV and DB Group presented plans for a new high-performance network to sustainably increase the quality and reliability of the infrastructure. The high-performance network will include the most highly utilized rail connections in Germany. Due to the forecasted traffic development, it will span over 9,000 km in length at the end of the decade.
One instrument for the transformation into the high-performance network is general modernization, in which all outdated and fault-prone installations are replaced and improved. Three decisive and new elements are applicable to the general modernization of the highly congested routes:
- Consolidation of all future upcoming construction work across all sub-sections.
- Increasing (residual) performance capability.
- No construction work for at least five years.
The experience gained from the general modernization involving greater consolidation, improved equipment standards and small and moderate measures for rapid capacity expansion should also be applied to the rest of the network wherever possible and sensible.
The general modernization of the first rail corridor will begin in 2024 with the Riedbahn (Mannheim — Frankfurt line). The Emmerich — Oberhausen and Hamburg — Berlin sections were selected for 2025. The selection of further modernization from 2026 and concrete implementation should take place in close coordination with stakeholders from the rail sector and the economy. The general modernization will gradually increase the reliability and (residual) performance capability of the infrastructure and increase punctuality.
DB Group has increased its annual preventive maintenance budget by hundreds of millions of euros to stabilize and improve the operating situation before the start of the general modernization. The required suspensions of service are increasingly integrated into previously timed suspension times in order to reduce changes to plans and disruptions during the year. By communicating comprehensively at an early stage, DB Group ensures greater planning predictability for the public transport authorities, train operating companies and their customers.