Billions of Euros for the railways?

by Thorsten Koch

The German government wants to help Deutsche Bahn in the corona crisis. There are no plans to cut jobs, but austerity measures will be taken. The Federal Audit Office has uttered slight criticism of the proposals to mobilize up to 8.4 billion Euros.

Richard Lutz with the EVG, the Workers’ Council and Federal Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer, had previously forged an “Alliance for our Railways” with the said amount of aid. The EVG said that by 2024, the railway employees would make a contribution of around 2 billion Euros. They feared a wave of dismissals. Scheuer said the employees needed “perspective and security”.

More economy needed

Instead, the screws will be tightened on organizational structures and working hours. The railways are struggling with falling passenger numbers, while the fixed costs remain stable. The Federal Audit Office urged more profitability. Only passenger traffic should be promoted, in order to avoid “wrong business developments of the recent years” with a view to the future. There are systemic weaknesses in freight transport.

The railway has over 50 tariff partners. Among these, the GDL rejected the agreement between the Federal Government and the Deutsche Bahn.

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