Four master's students from TU Dresden worked on a consulting project on the future of German rail passenger transport. In April 2024, they presented their results at the EIB in Luxembourg.

The Federal Republic of Germany has committed itself to further expanding rail transport services and making them more attractive. The aim is to encourage more people to switch from cars to "green mobility" in order to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector. In 2017, for example, 43% of all journeys were made by car. Forecasts also expect a similar proportion of journeys to be made by car in 2030. "Too expensive", "too late", "difficult to reach" are the reasons why people repeatedly choose alternatives instead of the train. Incentives to make rail more popular as a means of transport can be created, for example, by reducing and simplifying fares and at the same time increasing reliability. For instance, the introduction of the 9-euro ticket and the subsequent Deutschlandticket partially contributed to shifting traffic from road to rail.

Four students from TU Dresden, three of them from the "Transportation Economics" Master's degree program, presented the future of German rail transport after 2031 as part of a capstone project. In April 2024, they were invited to the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg to present their findings.

About the Project

The Cap-Stone project was carried out for the second time this year by Prof. Georg Hirte, Head of the Chair of Economics, in particular Transport Policy and Spatial Economics, and Prof. Christian Leßmann, Head of the Chair of Economics, in particular International Economic Relations, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Four to six Master's students work on topics selected by the EIB and are supervised by EIB representatives throughout the entire consulting project.

Among other things, the students shed light on how public passenger transport by rail is financed and which companies and institutions are involved. Examples of projects by the federal government and individual federal states are used to show how the current system of operation, pricing and financing should change. Finally, some scenarios and their social and economic effects are described and, for example, why the Deutschlandticket may not be a long-term solution after all.

Click here to access the EIB article and the presentation.


Tim Diehl

Contact at the Faculty

Prof. Dr. Georg Hirte

Chair of Economics, in particular Transport Policy and Spatial Economics
Phone: +49 351 463-36805
Mail: georg.hirte@​

Participating Students

  • Reka Doffkay (Transportation Economics)
  • Marisa Triana Camacho (Transportation Economics)
  • Sebastian Räuschel (Transportation Economics)
  • Kim Lorenz (International Relations)

Cooperation partner

  • William Surgrue (EIB)
  • Henning Schmidt (EIB)