Rail travel emits less CO2 pollution than air or road traffic and Germany is well aware of this. Last week, the country’s railway operator Deutsche Bahn made a commendable move to slash its long-distance rail fares in order to get more people on its tracks and away from fossil-fuel heavy modes of transport like cars or planes.
But it appears that the country is ready to go even one step greener with a €86 billion ($95 billion) plan to modernize and expand its creaky railway system, a move billed as an effort to make its transportation more eco-friendly.
The 10-year plan is not only to upgrade rails, bridges, and carriages but also build out capacity and electrify more routes so as to lure passengers from cars and planes.
The financing deal is part of a broader push to beef up Germany’s infrastructure and to reduce the country’s carbon emissions, particularly from transportation and power. Other measures include higher taxes for domestic flights, as well as grants and rebates to boost housing energy efficiencies.