Deutsche Bahn steps up modernization after fatal railway accident

  • World
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

BERLIN, June 1 (Xinhua) -- To avoid the recurrence of a fatal railway accident that happened last June, the Deutsche Bahn (DB) is set to replace 480,000 railroad sleepers in 2023, five times the usual amount, the company said Thursday.

With this, the DB is also addressing the findings of a report released the same day by the Federal Authority for Railway Accident Investigation, which said damaged concrete sleepers had been the main cause of the rail accident in Bavaria that killed five people and left 78 injured.

"This interim report confirms our suspicions," the company said in a statement. "So close to the first anniversary of the accident, our thoughts are with the victims, relatives and the helpers on the ground."

According to an internal DB report obtained by local media, around one in four switches, overhead lines and tracks are not in adequate condition. The total cost of fixing these shortcomings is estimated at around 89 billion euros (95.23 billion U.S. dollars).

In a bid to speed up the modernization of Germany's ailing rail system, which has been underfunded for decades, the DB announced earlier this year its plan to renovate dozens of busy railway sections by 2030. This will result in cancellations due to the months-long complete closure of affected sections. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollars)

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