BERLIN, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The German government has agreed with the country's industry associations and unions on a plan to make Germany's train services more punctual, competitive and environmentally friendly, according to the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure on Tuesday.
The aim is to double the number of rail travelers in Germany by 2030, according to the ministry. In 2019, Deutsche Bahn (DB) carried more than 150 million passengers, the state-owned rail operator said.
Rail in Germany could "become the number one mode of transport with this agreement," said Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer.
In the future, services for important long-distance routes would be offered every half hour, starting with the Hamburg-Berlin route as early as in December this year. Today, most long-distance rail services in Germany depart once per hour only.
Connections between high-speed and regional trains are also planned to be improved. Scheuer described the planned changes to train schedules in Germany as a "small revolution."
"The development of infrastructure is fundamental," said DB's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Lutz. "Because this is the key to growth and changes in traffic, to operational quality and punctuality."
The German government and Deutsche Bahn have already agreed on an 86-billion-euro (96.6-billion-U.S.-dollar) modernization program to improve train infrastructure in Germany over the next ten years. Enditem