Our inner ambition
Our inner ambition is to ensure that Germany has a strong rail system. Building a strong rail system will help our country to overcome existential challenges:
- For the climate. No other motorized transport today is as climate-friendly as the rail system. In addition, no other means of transport is as electromobile – and therefore as low in greenhouse gases and pollutants – as rail, which holds the largest market share of e-mobility in Germany. No other mass transport can achieve a 100% share of renewable energies as quickly – by 2038, we will have converted our traction current in Germany to 100% ecopower. A strong rail system is therefore an essential prerequisite for meeting the climate protection targets of the Federal Government and the EU, because a reduction in emissions in the transport sector cannot be achieved without a massive shift in the mode of transport towards the climate-friendly rail system. Strong Rail is a crucial beacon of hope for our climate. In concrete terms, the shift in the mode of transport and other climate protection measures through Strong Rail means: annual savings of up to 10.5 million tons of CO₂ per year in the transport sector in Germany.
- For people. By 2050, almost 85% of the population of Germany is expected to live in metropolitan areas, compared to about 75% in the early 2020s. A consequence: the growing amount of passenger and freight transport will present our cities and metropolitan areas with even more logistical, social and ecological challenges than they currently face. The situation is different in many rural areas. Here, one of the key challenges is preserving individual mobility. In the future, a strong rail system can continue to enable vibrant, urban coexistence and the accessibility of rural regions, because it will enable real mobility and allow travel time to be used in a variety of ways, without wasting valuable hours in our days. In concrete terms, a strong rail system for people means a doubling of passenger numbers in rail passenger transport and thus five million fewer car journeys and 14,000 fewer air journeys in Germany per day. The five million car trips a day correspond to about half of all daily shopping trips made by car. In the case of air travel, every sixth domestic flight would be replaced.
- For the economy. Demand for freight transport is expected to continue to grow steadily in the coming decades. At the same time, commutes between metropolitan areas and surrounding regions as well as increasing flexibility in terms of workplaces and working hours will lead to higher demand on work-related mobility. With a strong rail system, this rising volume of traffic can be overcome, enabling environmentally friendly economic growth. A strong rail system is therefore a crucial competitive factor for Germany’s future economic success. It secures Germany’s position as a leading exporting nation. With it, we are competing for the most modern transport logistics, and developing decisive technological stimuli for the future. In concrete terms, Strong Rail for the economy means: growth in the modal share of rail freight transport from 18% in the early 2020s to 25%. This corresponds to about 13 million fewer truck journeys per year on German roads.
- For Europe. Germany has a special responsibility for the future of Europe. As well as being the most populous country, it is also the geographic and economic heart of the continent. This role means Germany must be the pioneer and set the precedent for advancing European objectives. Climate protection, jobs, economic growth, social prosperity: much depends on Germany’s and Europe’s transport routes remaining future-proof. Strong Rail is the necessary link between East and West, and North and South. It is not only an important instrument for cultural understanding between the individual countries, it is also a decisive factor for the joint achievement of the set goals. In concrete terms, Strong Rail for Europe means: working together to realize a European network.