10 Feb 2023, 13:01
Carolina Kyllmann

Prioritisation of energy transport on German trains no longer necessary – transport associations

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background

It is no longer necessary to prioritise the transport of coal, mineral oil and gas on German trains, the transport companies’ association VDV and the freight railways association said in a joint statement. Their call comes ahead of a vote by Germany’s federal council on 10 February on extending a law that instructed the country’s rail infrastructure operator DB Netz to give preference to transports of energy sources over other rail freight and passenger transports. The associations argue that the policy is hardly used and should thus be phased out after a transitional period of three to six months. “Even before the end of the winter it is clear that a large number of freight railways have fulfilled their responsibility and delivered their service,” VDV vice president Joachim Berends said.

Germany passed a regulation to give trains transporting coal, mineral oil and gas priority over passenger trains to ensure energy supply security in the country in view of halted Russian gas deliveries and low water levels on the river Rhine, which impacted freight transport by ship. The priority had no relevance for supply in the past months, the associations said, adding that the industry does not expect the situation to worsen. The council will vote on whether to extended the regulation, the Energy Security Transport Ordinance (Energiesicherheitstransportverordnung), until 31 March 2024. According to Tagesspiegel Background, approval by the federal states is likely.

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