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Deutsche Bahn will take years to get back on track

IN Mid-May German They were gearing up for the third and longest strike of the year. Deutsche Bahn (database) broke out over a salary with EVG, the trade union representing most of Germany’s railway workers, including 180,000 in state-owned giants. Union leaders at the last minute canceled a 50-hour work stoppage that was due to start on the evening of May 14. The German tourist breathed a sigh of relief and then gasped: database We were unable to resume all 50,000 canceled services. The next day, the roads were jammed with commuters worried about getting stuck at the station, so they took a car instead.

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May 23rd database Unions then met for a fourth round of wage negotiations, but no long-term solution was forthcoming. And work insecurity is he only one of many fronts. database fighting. What was once a source of national pride is now a fodder for bad jokes (“We have database But I don’t know if it will work. ”) Only 70% of long-distance trains ran on time in April. Last year overall, only 60% were punctual, so even that is an improvement. The company’s (non-ambitious) target is at least 80%. database The service is “too crowded, too old, Kapat‘ Bertolt Hoover sitting databasesaid the board of directors. south german newspaper, every day of the month.

database‘s predicament is the result of poor management, bloated bureaucracy, political intervention and years of underinvestment. 2004 databaseChristian Boettger of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences says the annual budget for building and upgrading railway lines has been cut from €4 billion ($5 billion) to €1.5 billion a year. It has increased slightly since then, but last year it was still just €1.9 billion. 2 billion euros this year. The railroad business has been in the red for many years. In 2022, it posted an operating loss of EUR 500 million. databasehad an overall operating income of €56 billion and sales of €1.3 billion, all of which was attributed to the Logistics division. database Schenker has benefited from the growth of e-commerce, which now accounts for nearly half of its sales.

Vowed to make up for the failures of his predecessor, Olaf Scholz’s new government has ambitious plans. database. The company wants to inject an additional €45 billion into its network, almost doubling passenger traffic to around 4 billion by 2030, and increasing freight traffic by 25%.this year database It has begun the renovation and modernization of 650 railway stations, as well as 2,000 kilometers of tracks, 1,800 switches and 200 bridges. It will also add another 500 to its 4,300-strong team of guards tasked with protecting the tracks from pranksters (last October). database All services in northern Germany were suspended after being attacked for alleged sabotage). And the digitization of rail traffic is accelerating, from traffic lights and switches to digital “twins” of freight cars carrying goods.

Over time, this may improve convenience for passengers. But not immediately.Vehicles could be even busier this year: Germans can now buy monthly passes from May 1st Germany Your ticket is valid on all regional and local trains and costs just €49. Due in part to all these upgrade efforts, delays and outages are predicted to be even worse than in 2022.and database It may fall into the red. The company expects an operating loss of €1 billion in 2023 due to high inflation costs that are politically difficult to pass on to investments and tourists. database You can claim compensation for all delays in cash). “The guise of running an economically viable business was abandoned long ago,” says Boettger. It’s all about getting more cash out of the country.

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https://www.economist.com/business/2023/05/25/it-will-take-years-to-get-deutsche-bahn-back-on-track Deutsche Bahn will take years to get back on track

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