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DB Presents 'Metropolitan Network' Study: High-Speed Rail Transport to Triple by 2050

DB Presents 'Metropolitan Network' Study: High-Speed Rail Transport to Triple by 2050
foto: Deutsche Bahn/DB Presents 'Metropolitan Network' Study: High-Speed Rail Transport to Triple by 2050
11 / 07 / 2023

Deutsche Bahn, in collaboration with its European partner railways, has unveiled a study focused on the expansion of high-speed rail transport (HSR) across Europe.

The study, under the proposal for the "Metropolitan Network", outlines the explicit route enhancement for swift passenger trains across the continent and a simulation of the potential traffic growth that can be accommodated by eco-friendly rail systems. The study aligns with the European Commission's "Green Deal", which posits that European high-speed rail transport will significantly contribute to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector by aiming to double by 2030 and triple by 2050.

Michael Peterson, DB's Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transport, asserts that a tripling of high-speed transport in Europe is viable. Provided the infrastructure is in place, millions across the continent stand to benefit from appealing connections and reduced travel times. He anticipates that railway countries in Central and Western Europe, and notably in Southern and Eastern Europe, will particularly benefit. The study suggests that attractive travel times will materialize on entirely new axes and via new transport hubs on the railways.

The proposed "Metropolitan Network" is projected to link all 230 metropolitan regions and major cities in Europe to the HSR at least every hour. Metropolitan regions are classified as agglomerations with a population exceeding 250,000. About 60% of Europeans residing in these metropolitan regions would consequently have direct access to HSR, even in regions presently without high-speed rail transport. The study highlights that approximately 21,000 kilometres of rail network must be built and expanded across Europe. The routes intended for HSR would almost triple from about 11,300 kilometres today to 32,000 kilometres by 2050, accommodating speeds of up to 300 km/h. As a result, Germany's high-speed infrastructure would extend to approximately 6,000 kilometres, and Poland could increase its network more than tenfold, from 224 kilometres today to 2,760 kilometres.