Germany plans to give coal trains priority over passenger services on its rail network as it struggles with an energy crunch that’s threatening the economy, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported, citing a draft proposal.
Priority is normally given to passenger transport in Germany, and timetables are geared toward it. As a result there’s a risk of chaos on the rails from making the change, according to the draft.
Germany faces an historic energy crisis, which has fueled inflation and put the country on the brink of a recession. Russia has drastically cut natural gas flows on the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline amid its war in Ukraine. And hot and dry weather has hampered fuel transportation via Europe’s main rivers.
The draft plan is seen likely to be passed promptly as there’s growing pressure to accelerate fuel transport via rail, Welt am Sonntag reported. Germany also needs to improve coal transport to move forward with its plans to reopen power plants to boost energy security.