Even though it's often said that Germany's rail network is the envy of much of the world, chronic underinvestment has caused cracks to appear in the country's infrastructure. Cancellations, delays
, technical problems and strikes are becoming increasingly common in Germany, fuelling passengers' frustrations. Even though Deutsche Bahn is Europe's largest rail operator, transporting 2 billion customers a year, investment in railway infrastructure trails neighbouring countries by a considerable distance.
Allianz pro Schiene or the Pro Rail Alliance
, is an amalgamation of non-profit NGOs and businesses and has called for higher investment in the rail network. Data released by the organization shows that in 2017, Germany invested €69 per citizen in its railways, ahead of France's €38 and Spain's €32. It's still far behind other countries, however, with Switzerland
and Austria investing €362 and €187 per citizen respectively.
That €69 figure is still an improvement on the €49 Germany invested in its rail network in 2014 and €56 in 2015. The Alliance claims that the country has placed too much emphasis on building roads in recent years and that it needs to shift priorities and focus more on its rail infrastructure. Given that the number of passengers is set to double by 2030 with increased digitalisation of the network expected by then, €80 is the figure required for the current expansion and future projects.