Record demand for German rail industry

Germany’s rail industry experienced a sharp rise in demand last year, seeing rail manufacturing increase by 42 per cent to €14.9 billion.

Although the figure set a new record for rail vehicle and component orders within the German market, the result has been impacted by challenges within the approvals process, VDB said.

New train orders rose by 56 per cent to €11.7 billion in 2013, with both international and domestic demand increasing to €6 billion and €5.6 billion respectively.

Despite receiving more orders, turnover was down 6.5 per cent to €10 billion. VDB president Michael Clausecker said that sales had been hampered by the drawn out certification process. Clausecker said the first half of 2013 had been affected by ‘approval jams’, something that he felt had now been rectified by the introduction of a new licensing system by the Federal Ministry of Transport in June last year.

Clausecker also criticised the level of public investment in Germany’s rail infrastructure. Although sales increased by 3.6 per cent to €2.9 billion in 2013, domestic trade remained static at €1.8 billion. He described the German network as ‘blatantly’ underfunded, believing that the government needed to increase its annual investment from €2.5 billion to at least €3.5 billion

Clausecker said without investment the German rail network would continue to ‘lag behind’ the rest of Europe.