around two weeks Ago, there was Breakfast, this time it is probably more of a coffee round: For the third Time this month, politicians from the Grand coalition will meet this Wednesday with the railway-guide, Federal Minister of transport, Andreas Scheuer (CSU) and track boss Richard Lutz.

you want to discuss, such as the Deutsche Bahn to come in the coming years to make ends meet financially. Because the group has not only problems to drive their trains on time and reliably from A to B. Him money are missing simply.

A gap of around five billion euros there is in the Budget for the coming years, for example for the rail network, new trains and more staff. The rail is under pressure. “Since fiscal year 2017, the inflow is no longer sufficient liquid funds from operational business, in order to Finance operating investments”, stated in mid-January, the Federal court of auditors in a report.

Although the railway may borrow on the capital market because of the low interest rates currently in the money, at the beginning of 2018 they had to offer for a billion euros in just one percent interest. However, the Federal government has set the debt ceiling out of the 20.7 billion euros – and which is soon reached, as shown in the graph:

increased net financial debt from 2014 to mid-2018, from EUR 16.2 billion to EUR 19.7 billion. Meanwhile, the company is likely to have reached the 20 billion mark.

Video: The most important Figures and facts on the rail crisis

Video picture alliance / dpa

New debt that is hardly possible. of The railway Board will propose to the policy at the Meeting this Wednesday, to sell foreign subsidiary, Arriva. The company operates public Nahverkehre in many European countries, a part of the red buses in the British capital London, or water taxis in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. With the sale of Arriva, the financing gap will be cover in approximately.

“No positive effects”

the Federal court of auditors had recommended that foreign investments, such as Arriva and the logistics division to repel DB Schenker. These global activities would have “no positive effects for the earnings and financial situation of the railway in Germany”, it said. The profits would remain abroad and reinvested. By a sale of the railway could also focus organisationally on your core tasks.

A sale of Arriva and Schenker had already been around three years ago, discussed, at least in Parts. However, you had decided against it. Also this Time it does not shy away in the Ministry of transport, probably before such a step.

Without loans, and without Arriva-sale would, however, only a solution for the missing billions: the state Treasury. The Federal government could shoot the rail about new money as equity, as he has already in 2017, with an additional billion done. Or the state could waive the dividend, which the group distributes normally, and is currently around 600 million euros. Since the Federal government invested this dividend, however, is so far back into the rail network, would have to come from additional money from other Parts of the Federal budget in order to achieve a positive effect.

in The end, it could run within the Ministry of transport on a mixed-deletion, that is it. A part of Arriva would be sold and the Federal government would contribute some money. The railway Board would have to agree to such a solution.

modification of the Board of management will be discussed

in addition to the financial position Scheuer and the rail-to-peak will want to discuss at their Meeting about a possible restructuring of the railway Board. In the conversation is to expand the Board from six to eight members.

firstly, could the Board positions for passenger transport split, in a responsible for long – Distance and regional traffic. As we Heard, is already intensively sought a candidate for the regional area. On the other hand is considered a member of the management Board for freight transport. The Freight business, DB Cargo train for years losses. Currently, a single member of the management Board for freight, logistics and Finance is responsible.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.