As a courtesy to our readers from the E.U. we just released an English translation of our essay „Der Kern der Eisenbahn“, originally published at the end of last year (also as printed matter).
The pamphlet relates to the ongoing debate about the privatisation of Deutsche Bahn, limited to a minority share, but including, as it is, the German federal rail network. The text will nevertheless stay on as a source for a better understanding of the strategic value of rail infrastructure. We compare policy paths chosen by track owners in France, the U.K., and Switzerland to the situation in Germany.
Additionally, the emphasis of Deutsche Bahn (DB) on being a global logistics operator is put into the correct perspective. It is a picture of modern art leaving out all state subsidy for the rail network. Inclusion of these funds already shifts numbers nearer to reality.
Generally spoken, if parties responsible for the rail network would ever start to duly assess, record and depreciate investments, the value of the network would be obvious, and a mode of privatisation as the one proposed by Deutsche Bahn and its consulters could not be on the agenda. Time will tell if the chosen blindness will lead to wrong decisions.

the-essence-of-railways.pdfThe Essence of Railways (Der Kern der Eisenbahn, English version)