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ICE next to Autobahn 3: Greenpeace sees Germany "fully geared towards the car"

Photo: Dwi Anoraganingrum / Panama Pictures / IMAGO

Over the past 30 years, Germany has invested about twice as much in roads as it has in its rail infrastructure. This is the result of a study conducted by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the T3 Transportation Think Tank on behalf of Greenpeace. In addition, Germany has shut down more kilometres of track for rail passengers than other European countries.

According to Greenpeace, the analysis examined investments in road and rail in the 27 EU states as well as in Great Britain, Norway and Switzerland. Comparable data for these 30 countries were available for the years 1995 to 2018. During this period, an average of 66 percent more was invested in roads than in rail.

According to the study, Germany spent twice as much money (110 percent) on road transport. 278.4 billion euros flowed into roads, only 132 billion euros into rail.

No other country has shut down more train lines, it is said: Germany has cut its rail network for passenger transport by 1995 kilometers since 2700, and at the same time 2000 kilometers of highways have been built.

According to the analysis, Germany's per capita expenditure on rail transport is only twelfth in a European comparison, at around 1600 euros per year. Switzerland spends four times as much, Austria invests twice as much.

Recent figures suggest a convergence in expenditure on roads and railways: In the countries for which figures are already available, additional expenditure on roads fell noticeably to 2018 percent between 2021 and 34.

In Germany, too, the gap between investment volumes in the two modes of transport fell to 84 percent. However, the change is smaller than in the other countries, from which Greenpeace concludes that Germany will remain a car country for the time being.