The federal government is launching a funding program with a volume of half a billion euros for low-emission rail transport. This is intended to support railway transport companies for five years if they improve their efficiency in power consumption and thereby reduce emissions. The Federal Ministry of Transport announced this on Thursday in Berlin.
The funds come from the federal government’s “Energy and Climate Fund”. The program is a contribution to achieving the federal government’s climate protection goals, said Transport State Secretary Enak Ferlemann.
The managing director of the transport alliance Allianz pro Schiene, Dirk Flege, spoke of a “groundbreaking program” to make electric rail transport even more energy-efficient. “This will trigger a surge of innovation in the industry and help driver assistance systems achieve a breakthrough,” said Flege of the German press agency.
The green transport politician Matthias Gastel told the dpa that the new federal funding program was basically going in the right direction. “But just as a swallow doesn’t make a summer, the program does nothing to change the fundamentally wrong orientation of black and red’s transport policy. In view of the increasingly pressing climate crisis, we need a quick turn away from the concrete policy of the past, which is expressed in 1,300 planned road construction projects. “
According to the ministry, support for companies is linked to annual percentage improvements in energy efficiency in so-called traction power consumption compared to the previous year. This can be achieved, for example, through investments in hybrid locomotives or measures for automation or digitization.