New high-speed rail link cuts travel time between Berlin and Munich to under four hours
A new high-speed train link opening this weekend cuts the travel time between Berlin and Munich to less than four hours, which means flying will no longer be quicker, according to Pro-Rail alliance, a lobby group consisting of non-profit organisations and railway companies. It said the new line could double trains’ market share, boosting it to 40 percent, on the important connection between two of Germany’s major urban areas. That would translate to 3.6 million passengers per year.
But the project costing around ten billion euros does not herald a new era for German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, writes Markus Balser in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Mobility experts told the author car transport will continue to grow faster than rail transport, and that the electrification of vehicles will erode the trains’ environmental advantage. Balser writes Deutsche Bahn is much too slow in its adoption of new mobility concepts, such as door-to-door services that can be booked by mobile app. Entirely new ideas such as battery-powered planes could spell even more radical changes in the future, according to the article.
Read the Süddeutsche Zeitung article in German here.
Find the Pro-Rail Alliance press release in German here.
The CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector provides plenty of background.