The Pro-Rail Alliance has just strengthened its academic support basis. The renowned Berlin Technical University (TU) has now become the fourth German university to join the political transport alliance, which unites under one roof organisations from business and civil society. Alongside the universities of applied science of Wildau, Mittelhessen and Aachen, the TU Berlin is also recognised internationally as one of the most important addresses in the field of railway technology. 33,000 students are currently studying at the TU Berlin for jobs in engineering, science or economics.
“Berlin is a railway capital par excellence”
“Berlin is Germany’s railway capital par excellence,” said Dirk Flege, managing director of the German Pro-Rail Alliance, on Wednesday in Berlin. “Deutsche Bahn is the biggest employer in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, and large railway technology manufacturers such as Bombardier, Siemens and Stadler are located here. So having the TU Berlin on board, the number one in teaching and research, perfectly matches our strategic approach,” said Flege. He pointed out that with 600,000 employees across the country, the railway industry is one of the German economy’s heavyweights. “Our industry desperately needs new talent,” said Flege. “We are in permanent competition with the automotive and aviation sectors for the best people. Clever mechanical engineers and other specialist engineers bursting with energy often decide during their studies where they see their professional futures. Having the TU Berlin on our side is a guarantor in the ongoing process of rejuvenating the railway industry.
TU Berlin: “showing policy makers the way forward”
Markus Hecht, head of the railway vehicle department at the TU Berlin, underlined the need for deeper cooperation between academics and politicians within the Pro-Rail Alliance network. “Rail transport is multi-layered and requires a lot of knowledge to create inspiring systems,” said Hecht, citing the Gotthard base tunnel as an example. “To ensure that rail transport can optimise its contribution towards solving society’s problems, including the demands made by climate issues on transport, the railway sector has to act in concert.” Although rail transport has its own significant advantages, the political framework conditions are currently not satisfactory. “In freight transport in particular there is a big gap between aspiration and reality,” criticised Hecht. At the same time, it cannot be left up to individual companies to show policy makers the way forward. “This is what makes the Pro-Rail Alliance, with its commitment to the transport system as a whole, ideal.”
Rail transport in all its entirety
The TU Berlin is one of the few universities in Europe that teaches rail transport in its entirety and is active in many areas of research. The university is also involved in European research programmes. With its lecture series ‘Rail in Dialogue’ and ‘The nature of the railways’, the TU Berlin encourages over 1,000 external visitors per semester to visit its lecture halls. The TU Berlin has for several months already been a partner in the railway jobs portal ‘SchienenJobs.de’, which was set up by the Pro-Rail Alliance and currently has over 1,000 intern placements on offer.
About Allianz pro Schiene
Allianz pro Schiene e.V. (The Pro-Rail Alliance) is the German alliance for the promotion of environmentally friendly and safe rail transport. It is an independent umbrella organisation that unites non-profit organisations and the commercial sector for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of the railways.