If the demand for regional transport increases due to the introduction of a 49-euro ticket, Deutsche Bahn sees little scope for a larger offer. "There is no space for additional trains in regional traffic around the major junction stations," said Berthold Huber, the railway board member responsible for the infrastructure of the "Welt am Sonntag".
You can no longer make a quarter-hour cycle out of a half-hour cycle. "The infrastructure is dense." One would have to try to provide more seats on the trains, but there are limits here too. "The infrastructure forgives for a long time, but now the point has been reached where it is no longer possible and the situation threatens to tip over."
The top priority must be the refurbishment and capacity expansion of the outdated network, whose susceptibility to failure is increasing. "The punctuality is unacceptable this year and the infrastructure causes a big part of this problem," said Huber. The renovation backlog amounts to 50 billion euros. "There is the problem that we have too little network for too much traffic." That is why significantly more funds are planned for 2023 than the federal budget provides for, even if this amount burdens the economic result of Deutsche Bahn, said Huber. Less maintenance because there is no money is no longer an option.