Despite Corona, the Hessische Landesbahn is on a significant growth path. Reluctant passengers are not the only challenge.
Frankfurt / Main – The Hessische Landesbahn (HLB) is facing a difficult growth phase. Managing director Veit Salzmann expects problems with the recruitment of train drivers and attendants as well as a hesitant return of passengers after the Corona * pandemic. He said on Tuesday in Frankfurt that the passenger numbers from the pre-crisis year 2019 will be reached again in 2023 at the earliest. * A shortage of staff was a problem at HLB a few years ago. *
The state-owned transport company has won the operation of three regional networks in Hesse in tenders in the past few months. The HLB intends to increase its traffic performance by 25 percent to 20 million train kilometers annually over the next four years. According to the information, around 350 new people will be needed for this.
Hessische Landesbahn: Frankfurt company expects a profit of 2.1 million euros despite Corona
New to the HLB portfolio from December 2023 is the “Mittelhessen-Express” previously operated by Deutsche Bahn with four regional lines between Frankfurt, Dillenburg, Friedberg, Schwalmstadt and Hanau. They would like to take over the employees of DB Regio and are already holding initial discussions, explained Salzmann. In the new tenders, the HLB also defended its “Wetteraunetz” and “Lahn-Vogelsberg-Rhön” offers, both of which are to be expanded.
For the current year Salzmann expects sales of around 300 million euros (2020: 278 million). Thanks to the state Corona aid to the transport associations, the HLB Group should again make a profit. The company expects 2.1 million euros, after 2.7 million euros last year.
Hessische Landesbahn: New vehicles and new central workshop in Butzbach
The HLB was able to invoice its services unchanged despite the passenger burglary. In addition, as the owner, the state waived the usual profit transfer of 1 million euros each for the years 2019 and 2020.
The HLB needs the income to strengthen its equity, as Salzmann explained. In addition to new vehicles, a major individual measure is the construction of a new central workshop in Butzbach, which, according to today’s prices, is expected to cost 72 million euros. A plot of land with around 70,000 square meters has already been purchased, and the HLB expects the railway workshop to be completed in early 2025.
Just last year, the Landesbahn invested 1.7 million euros in new tracks near Kelkheim. * (Judo) * fnp.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.