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“Crazy train,” headlines Die Zeitin a report on the poor management of Deutsche Bahn AG, renamed “Wahn AG” (Crazy PLC). The “population has been driven to despair” by the country’s rail operator, and its policy of investment in high-profile projects which has neglected regional services. The Hamburg weekly cites the example of the new Berlin–Munich line that will cut the travel time between the two cities to three hours and 45 minutes, which forms part of a trans-European network destined to link Sweden to Sicily. But in the heart of Germany, 30 new bridges, which cost approximately 20 million euros each, have yet to be utilised by the country’s rail network, because connecting lines, sound barriers and tunnels have yet to be built. The newspaper is particularly critical of national and regional politicians, who have fought to establish expensive and complicated services connecting medium-sized towns instead of promoting less costly links between major cities.

On the issue of freight services, Die Zeit cites the case of the planned Genoa-Rotterdam link, which is supposed to “ship large quantities of goods from the Italian port to destinations across Europe.” The Dutch section of the line, which is partly underground, was completed three years ago. The Swiss have completed the first phase of work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel, “but nothing has been done in Germany” where the trains “continue to zigzag across the country on 150 year-old tracks.”