Why is the law being changed?
The Federal Railways Development Law (BASWG) forms the legal basis for investments in the federal railway network. However, the act’s current form has recently proved an increasing barrier to investment. The aim is now to overcome this barrier.
By creating additional financing options in BASWG, the intention is to facilitate quicker and larger investments in rail. These changes aim to increase the performance and availability of railway infrastructure in order to deal with the growth in passenger and goods traffic volumes.
What individual changes to the law are planned?
Once the amendments to BSWAG are approved, the Federal Government will be able to access new financing options. These are primarily focused on meeting costs for:
- one-off expenses,
- maintenance and upkeep,
- building works required by law such as regulations on protected monuments,
- IT services for digitalisation,
- long-term and expanded replacement investments such as upgrading platforms, and
- ongoing costs from accessibility and noise-reduction investment programmes initiated by the Federal Government.
Following amendments to BSWAG, all optional federally funded measures must be contractually agreed between the Federal Government and publicly-owned railway companies.
How much more money is involved here?
Deutsche Bahn AG has reported that it requires ongoing additional investments worth around 45 billion euros in the period up to 2027. According to rough estimates by the Federal Ministry of Transport, which is responsible for the railways, around 7.5 billion euros plus unquantifiable funding needs will go on the new BSWAG financing options. The use of the financing options is contingent on the availability of funds provided in budgets.