The Ministry of Transport has to limit the damage at the Deutschlandtakt: formulations by the responsible State Secretary made one think of postponing the mammoth project by 40 years. This causes jokes on the internet. Railway associations are now demanding a binding schedule.
The Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport, State Secretary Michael Theurer from the Ministry of Transport, has once again specified his statements on the implementation of a Germany-wide timetable. The year 2070 does not mean a shift, said the FDP politician. Instead, the Germany cycle, which is important for the traffic turnaround, was fully implemented on this date. The news on social media that the Germany clock was delayed by 40 years had previously caused a lot of ridicule. One user commented that he was probably already dead by the time it was launched.
The Deutschlandtakt will be implemented "in the next 50 years as a project of the century," Theurer told ZDF. It was "always completely clear that this would take decades". Theurer explained to AFP in the afternoon that the Germany cycle would come "in stages, as planned from the start". The project "will not be postponed". Rather, the Federal Ministry of Transport is working on an acceleration.
The Pro-Rail Alliance demanded clarity from the federal government when it came to the schedule. "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. "We can't lose any more time in expanding the network for the Deutschlandtakt."
For the Deutschlandtakt, rail traffic is to be switched to a nationwide 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 be optimally networked with each other.
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 that the Deutschlandtakt is an "ongoing project that is constantly being developed and adapted to the modernization of the rail network". Each stage brings "new leaps in supply and significant improvements for travelers and logisticians". 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. The next stage in 2030 is already being prepared.
The transport policy spokesman for the Union faction in the Bundestag, Thomas Bareiß, 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 was "admitting the failure of the traffic light," said the CDU politician.
The rapporteur for the Union faction for rail, Michael Donth, was "stunned". A shift in the Germany clock to 2070 "would be a disaster for the future of German rail transport". Instead of arguing with the Greens about motorways, Transport Minister Wissing must solve the problems with the rails: significantly more investments, a more efficient group, faster planning for rail projects and the implementation of the results of the Rail Acceleration Commission, demanded the CDU politician.