German road, railway infrastructure is decaying, with harsh economic consequences

By Michael Birnbaum, January 1, 2014

HAMBURG — Flawless autobahns and punctual trains are as much a part of Germany’s image as Beethoven and Goethe. But the country’s famed infrastructure is starting to crumble.

The once-soaring bridges are sagging. Some railroad switching equipment, once top-of-the-line, has not been updated since the time of the kaisers. Well-engineered canal locks are succumbing to silt and neglect.

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