The German government plans to prioritise coal trains over passenger trains on its railway network in order to counter the energy crisis that the country is facing, reported German news outlet Welt am Sonntag.
Previously, the rail network had prioritised passengers and the proposal warns that the introduction of such a plan could create rail chaos.
Germany has been plunged into an energy crisis as Russia restricts supplies of natural gas since it invaded Ukraine in February. In response to Western sanctions, Russian state gas company has cut gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 20% of capacity.
Desperate times, desperate measures
Natural gas accounts for 27% of Germany’s overall energy mix. Before Russia’s war in Ukraine, just over half (55%) of gas consumed in Germany was imported from Russia, reported the Guardian.
The German government is making preparations in case Moscow stops gas supplies to Germany altogether. Furthermore, Germany has been at the fore of EU commitments to cut dependence on Russian energy.
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The energy crisis has already caused high inflation in Germany and the country is on the brink of recession. The bill is expected to pass in the near future, prompting concerns about the impacts this will have on civil transportation.