Foreign investors get on board
The massive investment and expansion plans are creating exciting opportunities for foreign companies, explains Christian Böttger, professor at Berlin’s University of Applied Sciences (HTW) and an expert on the rail sector. “Germany will invest more in public transport in the years to come, and Deutsche Bahn has already been extending its supplier base internationally over recent years, as other German rail operators have,” says Böttger.
Deutsche Bahn’s biggest expansion project encompasses the federal states of Hessen, Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz and North Rhine-Westphalia. The EUR 4 billion endeavor, which includes tunnel extensions and major track expansions, will start construction this year and be completed in the 2040s. Upgrades to and new construction on the Hamburg/Bremen–Hannover line will also commence this year at an estimated cost of EUR 3 billion. Another big construction and upgrade project will be the Hanau–Würzburg/Fulda–Erfurt lines in the 2030s.
Participating suppliers include railway vehicle manufacturers like Spanish firms Talgo and CAF, Canada’s Bombardier, Pesa in Poland, Switzerland’s Stadler Rail, Czech group Škoda Transportation, Russia’s United Wagon Company and China’s CRRC. “Germany is more open to international suppliers than many other countries are,” Böttger says.