Germany's state-run rail operator Deutsche Bahn has said it managed reasonably well during the harsh winter months. It said only a small proportion of trains had been canceled, and most passengers arrived in time.
Taking stock of its operations during the winter period, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) said Monday only few trains had had to be canceled over the past four months despite long spells of frosty weather and snowfalls.
DB claimed less than 1 percent of all passenger trains were dropped on a monthly average, with 25,000 trains being in operation every day. The state-run company also stated that more than 93 percent of its trains arrived on time or with less than a five-minute delay between December and March.
Deutsche Bahn said its largely reliable operations during the winter months had been a result of tangible improvements in the maintenance sector and more than 20,000 people allocated for snow-clearing activities. Moreover, the number of thawing devices and switch heating installations had been increased significantly, DB argued.
According to plans by German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, as of 2016 Deutsche Bahn is to receive 500 million euros ($650 million) more annually from the federal budget to upgrade its rail network.
This would mean that the operator would get some 3 billion euros per year for that purpose instead of the 2.5 billion earmarked so far.
In return, the transport ministry said it would tighten its controls on how exactly the money would be spent in order to make sure that the allocated resources really went into the most pressing projects such as the restoration of older railway bridges.
hg/mz (Reuters, AFP)