2018 Integrated Interim Report – Departure into a new era!

Punctuality down

Punctuality (%)

H1 2018


H1 2017


Rail in Germany 1)




DB Group (rail) in Germany




     DB rail passenger transport in Germany




          DB Long-Distance




          DB Regional




     DB Cargo (Germany)




DB Arriva (rail) (Great Britain, Denmark,
Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland) 1)




DB Regional (bus)




DB Cargo




1) Non-Group and DB Group train operating companies.

In the first half of 2018, Group-wide punctuality did not develop to a satisfactory level.

In response to the decrease in punctuality, we created the punctuality management center in March 2018, which is managed by the Infrastructure Board division and devel­­ops and realizes measures for the short- and long-term improvement of punctuality on an operating level across all business units. The measures of the punctuality management center, which also incorporates non-Group train operating companies (TOCs), include activities that optimize schedules to stabilize punctuality, improve adherence to stop times, increase the availability of command and control technology and stabilize S-Bahn (metro) traffic. In addition to the measures enacted by the punctuality management center, we continue to implement numerous measures from the Railway of the Future programwhich also help improve punctuality.

The PlanStart teams at DB Long-Distance were busy transferring the improvement in trains starting on time from the PlanStart rail hubs to the track in the first half of 2018.

DB Cargo launched the second wave of marshaling yards in the first half-year of 2018, where the PlanStart teams worked on increasing departure punctuality.

Punctuality in the first half of 2018 in part still remained significantly under the values from the same period of the previous year both for non-Group and DB Group TOCs in Germany.

Punctuality suffered from an infrastructure that was increasingly utilized. The additional increase in traffic volume, the expansion of the construction program and the corresponding reduction in network capacity resulted in delays. In contrast, it was possible to further reduce construction-related delays (delays that can be directly linked to a construction site).

On the operational side, a large number of incidents in command and control technology, vehicle faults and incidents related to the provision of vehicles had a negative impact on punctuality.

Additional stress resulted from weather-related re­­­stric­tions, such as the storm Friederike in mid-January which led to massive track undercutting and large-scale track closures due to fallen trees.

Implementing the action plan for vegetation

In the first half of 2018 we had started implementing the vegetation action plan, which aims at reducing the negative impact of increasingly extreme weather on rail operations.

In addition to continuing proven measures such as the preventative pruning of trees and bushes alongside tracks, the plan also includes thinning tree populations along the tracks to significantly stabilize the tree population even beyond the trimming zone of 6 meters. As part of the reforestation measures, trees that have a stable height and suitable growth patterns will be planted, as will bushes and scrubs.

More than 3,000 acres of forest had already been in­­spected and digitally recorded by June 2018. The data forms the basis for the thinning of the tree population which is planned to start in November 2018.

It is planned that up to 150 forestry workers will join the more than 1,000 employees already working on the inspection. In the next five years, we are planning to spend a further 125 million on the care and management of the plant population in addition to the 100 million that has been available for this project each year since 2007.

The construction management center continues its work

The goal of the construction management center is to carry out the construction volume for 2018, which is set to reach record highs this year, with the lowest possible impact on our customers.

To achieve this, the construction measures are bundled in terms of time and location and the specific construction processes are considered. Sometimes it is possible to pre-assemble complex technical construction parts next to the track and thus reduce the time the track construction engineers need for the actual installation, which results in tracks getting cleared for traffic much faster. Another option is to install additional switches before the construction measure. Together with colleagues from the specialist departments and the regions, the management center also decides whether a measure should be delayed or combined with other projects. Additional improvements result from the use of additional employees and tool-based forecasting support as well as work in three-shift operations or the shifting of closing times to peripheral low-traffic regions.