Europa - Krieg und Kriegsvorbereitungen auch auf dem Eisenbahnsektor

Freitag, 10. März 2023 , von Freeman-Fortsetzung um 19:36


600 Mio. Euro für die militärische Erneuerungen der Eisenbahnen.....

Alles will diesen verdammten Krieg in Europa. Kein Geld für nichts anderes mehr.

The European Commission decided to increase the financing for military mobility projects from EUR 330 million to over EUR 616 million to support 35 projects under the Connecting Europe Facility. More than EUR 346 million financing will be delivered for rail and rail-related projects to enhance military mobility and dual-use transport. The increase of the budget was the result of Russia’s war of aggression which highlights the need of a connected network with increased capacity across the EU. he projects will help European armed forces to respond better, more rapidly and at a sufficient scale to crises erupting at and outside the EU’s external borders.

The military mobility projects will support Member States and partner countries to develop a well-connected and secure military mobility network. Examples include the upgrade of six rail bridges and the construction of two low-speed track sections for longer and heavier trains in Germany on the North Sea – Baltic   Corridor, the purchase of a multi-use hybrid propulsion ice-breaker to increase capacity in the port of Riga, the upgrade of two stretches of road along the Via Baltica close to the Lithuanian-Polish border, the modernisation of rail infrastructure at the Romanian port of Constanta, and the construction of a new bridge over the Prut river connecting Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

“With this new batch of projects co-financed under the 2022 CEF Military Mobility call we are clearly accelerating our support to transport infrastructure improvements across the EU that will contribute to the security of our continent for decades to come,” said the Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), Dirk Beckers.

The 35 projects have been selected among those submitted under the second Military Mobility call for proposals issued by the CEF programme, the funding instrument for strategic investment in EU transport infrastructure. The Commission will pay grants, which co-finance the total estimated project costs and which will be paid earlier than initially planned.

“The results of our second call on military mobility under Connecting Europe Facility reflect the need of the European Union’s Member States to improve the dual use of our transport system. It was a highly competitive and oversubscribed call, with winning projects in 17 countries. I am pleased that some of the projects in Germany, Romania and Poland directly address improving the infrastructure on the Solidarity Lanes, our corridors used for Ukraine’s imports and exports,” Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said.

The second Military Mobility call, which was opened on 12 May 2022 and closed on 29 September 2022 aims to co-fund projects that will support the adaptation of transport infrastructure to civil and military mobility needs within the EU by making it suitable for civilian and defence dual-use.

To enhance military mobility across EU, a budget of EUR 1.69 billion is available under CEF between 2021-2027. Under the first call for proposals in 2021, 22 projects worth EUR 339 million were selected for funding and are now being implemented across the EU.

The selected rail and rail-related projects.

  • Belgium has received EUR 30.8 million to upgrade the signalling system and electrify the tracks in two rail yards and the renewal of the automatic hump yard within the Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport received EUR 56 million to upgrade six bridges on Corridor North Sea – Baltic and to build two 740m-sidings to provide for higher availability of paths for
    longer and heavier trains. The projects will be implemented on the routes connecting Frankfurt/Oder-Berlin-Hamburg and Berlin-Magdeburg-Braunschweig-Hannover as well as Hannover-Köln-Border with Belgium, Hannover-Osnabrück-Border the Netherlands.
  • The ministry will also benefit a EUR 99 million funding to upgrade six bridges, four sidings and three rail-road terminals on the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes. The projects will develop the infrastructure for dual use (civilian and military) improving the infrastructure to allow 740m trains on its section of Corridor Rhine-Danube and Orient/East-Med.
  • Demark obtained EUR 3.5 million to increase the railway freight and passenger capacity at Copenhagen Airport and Kalvebod to civilian and military dual use. The financing will support the elaboration of studies related to the preparation for the subsequent
    construction of a turnback rail track at the Copenhagen airport railway station and a passing rail track at Kalvebod (western
    Copenhagen) that complement each other.
  • EUR 26.3 million will be also provided to Denmark to remove rail cross-border bottleneck between the fixed links across Fehmarn and Oresund at Copenhagen Airport to civilian and military dual use. The project covers reconstruction work of the rail line around the airport and the station for directional operation, establishing two new platforms and transfer facilities to the new platforms as well as improving safety of the existing Kastrup tunnel.
  • Spain will receive EUR 2.2 million for gauge adaptation on the Medina del Campo – Salamanca- Fuentes de Oñoro railway line. The project aims at upgrading the capacity and performance of the existing conventional Salamanca-Fuentes de Oñoro rail section. The works to be performed are necessary to facilitate international rail passenger and freight traffic, but also to enable the electrification on existing conventional line rail tracks.
  • EUR 2.4 million will also be delivered to Spain for a study of gauges for the development of Rail Motorway Algeciras – Zaragoza, part of the global project on the Algeciras – Madrid – Zaragoza rail line on the Atlantic and Mediterranean CNCs. The project concerns the elaboration of preliminary and detailed studies to adapt the railway line for the use of P420 semi-trailers.
  • EUR 1.9 million will be delivered to France to adapt the rail infrastructure and terminal to civilian-defence dual use at Port Atlantique La Rochelle. The project includes a multimodal platform that is also in the vicinity of the Atlantic Core Network Corridor. It combines study and works that aim to upgrade the existing dual use military rail freight terminal and tracks.
  • EUR 15.1 million will support the actions in Hungary covering the Zalaszentiván Western Triangle Track connecting Zalaszentiván-Hódos and Szombathely-Zalaszentiván TEN-T lines. The project consists of the construction of a new triangle track at Zalaszentiván station which will allow direct connection between the Slovenian – Hungarian cross-border section Hodoš –Zalaszentiván of the Mediterranean corridor and the section Rajka– Hegyeshalom – Szombathely – Zalaszentiván of the comprehensive network. The project also includes the construction of a new railway stop, as well as a new level crossing resulting from the re-alignment of railway line.
  • Latvia will receive EUR 6.2 million for a project covering the enhancement of dual use capacity of Riga Port – Latvia, by investing in road and railway access and berth infrastructure.
  • Poland received a EUR 6.5 million financing for works at cargo points located on the TEN-T network. This mainly includes improvement of military mobility at 13 cargo points of railway stations located in the core/comprehensive TEN-T network in Poland.
  • Poland will also benefit a EUR 10 million investment that will support the construction of a multimodal goods and fuel delivery hub with railway siding connection at Katowice Airport. The project concerns the construction of a railway connection at the airport to deliver aviation fuel, as well as a new fuel farm for the supply of civil and military aircraft. The rail siding will connect the fuel facility at the airport with rail line No. 182.
  • Portugal received EUR 12.8 million for the reinforcement of Dock 1 North of the port of Leixões for dual use and rail connectivity. The project is situated in the Port of Leixões (on Atlantic Corridor) and the project addresses works for the reinforcement of dock N°1 North, alignment and a continuous berth front on the north side of the port, extension of the adjacent Ro-Ro ramp, increase of the
    supporting capacity of the pier embankment and deepening of the quay.
  • EUR 1.27 million will support the studies for Port of Sines, Portugal, to increase its capacity through an extension of the existing breakwater, reorganise and improve rail and road accessibility and multimodal connections.
  • Romania will receive EUR 43.5 million for the modernisation of the railway infrastructure in Constanta Port – stage I, Valu lui Traian. The project consists of design and execution of works for the modernisation of the railway infrastructure in Valu lui Traian Marshalling Yard and in the related railway station in the port of Constanta.
  • Sweden obtained EUR 28.4 million for a project which includes track doubling works on two sections of the Freight Line through Bergslagen: the Dunsjö – Jakobshyttan section of 5 km, which includes a 260 m long mountain tunnel, three bridges and service road, as well as the Jakobshyttan – Degerön section of 13 km which also includes the building of six bridges.

Photo: ProRail

Ex Politico


The projects include strengthening rail links from Antwerp into Germany so that longer trains can move east | Raigo Pajula/AFP via Getty Images

Having a better army doesn't much matter if you can't get it moving.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has focused attention on preparing the EU's roads, railways, ports and airports for the rapid movement of troops and tanks. Relieving bottlenecks and buttressing tracks and bridges used by both military and civilians is crucial to the Continent's defense program. But despite those worries, the EU isn't planning any immediate increase in spending on the issue.

“The further east you go, the infrastructure does not support the heavy weight of U.S., German, British and Dutch tanks, it’s the bridges,” said retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. Army Europe and now affiliated to think tank CEPA. “We’ve got to show we can move as fast or faster than the Russian Federation in the Suwałki Gap [between Poland and Lithuania] or in Romania.”

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s funding vehicle for infrastructure projects, was agreed last year and it allocates €1.7 billion to military mobility — down from the €6.5 billion that was initially proposed (but more than the zero that some advocated). Cutting the budget seemed like a good idea back when EU leaders thought war was a remote scenario.

On Thursday, EU diplomats agreed with the European Commission on spending nearly €340 million of the CEF military envelope on 22 mostly small-scale projects as part of that program — largely in Central Europe.

Those projects include strengthening rail links from Antwerp into Germany so that longer trains can move east, upgrades at two airports in Poland and boosting transport links to the Tapa military base in Estonia.

One official involved in the talks said countries also agreed to bring forward the next round of project funding to May from September, although that won't change the size of the overall budget.

Critics complain that the scale of the funding is well below what's needed to prepare the Continent for a military threat, and some members of the European Parliament are pushing for a much faster increase in spending.

“The money is ridiculous,” said Romanian MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu. The European People’s Party lawmaker was one of the Parliament’s leads in negotiations on CEF. The final total agreed is "almost nothing" compared with the bloc's strategic needs, he said.

Despite earlier skepticism, there's been a “180-degree” turn on the need for military mobility spending thanks to the war, according to a senior Commission official working on the issue.

"In Europe, one has had the sentiment that we did not need to spend on defense," said Georg Riekeles, who covers security at the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based think tank. "Since February 24 [when Russia attacked Ukraine], that picture has completely changed."

The problems with infrastructure have been apparent for years, as NATO expanded to the east, but spending on roads and railways didn't follow.

In 2017, Hodges led U.S. troops landing at Bremerhaven, in northwest Germany. While the port infrastructure was up to scratch, routes out were not. “There is a choke point in how fast can you get on the road,” he said. “No matter how big the port is, if you’re not prepared for rapid movement then everything gets stacked up.”

Fit for a fight

It's a problem as the alliance looks to beef up its forces in the east to deter Russia.

“Just to get into Romania over the Carpathian mountains, it’s very difficult with a tank on the back of a transport truck,” said Hodges.

While NATO coordinates military action, it doesn't finance bridges, railways and roads. That's where the EU is supposed to step up with the CEF.

“[Militaries] are using the same infrastructure as the civilians, and so they run into the same problems," said the Commission official. "They run into problems in ports, for a modal shift from ships to rail, they run into the same bottlenecks in urban nodes or with the same reduced train lengths, they have the same problems that certain airports are not linked to rail."

The CEF military mobility money is aimed at connecting airports to railways, strengthening bridges and clearing space at ports for rapid landing. Other larger projects — such as Rail Baltica, a €5.8 billion European standard-gauge train connection running through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Poland — are also cited as critical for defense.

As part of Thursday's round of project approvals, €5 million will go to boosting military capability on the Latvia leg of Rail Baltica.

The biggest funding approval was €60 million for Via Baltica, a road link through the Baltics, hardly a major investment given new schemes typically cost billions.

Marinescu wants the bloc to move now rather than wait for the next seven-year CEF infrastructure budget in 2028: “We have to have something now," he said.

In a debate in Parliament’s transport committee last week, he proposed dipping into the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility as some €232 billion of the post-pandemic fund's loans have yet to be earmarked for use.

“Part of this money … could be used for our needs in dual-use infrastructure,” Marinescu said.

This week, more than 60 MEPs from groups across the political spectrum sent a letter, obtained by POLITICO, to EU leaders and French President Emmanuel Macron to “draw … attention to the urgent need to boost the Military Mobility program.” 

That means directing more EU cash to “strategically urgent projects, in particular in the Eastern part of the EU,” and simplified procedures for project evaluations and environmental impact assessments, they wrote.

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