Integrated Interim Report 2019 – Germany needs a strong rail system

Customer and quality

Focus on punctuality

Slightly improved development

Punctuality (%)





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) 




DB Regio (bus)




DB Cargo (Europe)




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

Punctuality of non-Group and DB Group TOCs showed slightly positive development overall in the first half of 2019. The upswing is a result of increased punctuality in passenger transport, and would have been more marked without the weather which caused difficulties in June 2019.

In long-distance transport, the level from the first half of 2018 was not quite reached due to the series of strong storms and record heat in June 2019. The series of storms at the beginning of June 2019 led to massive track closures due to lightning strikes, undercutting and fallen trees. Many construction measures had to be rescheduled starting in the second half of June due to the hot summer temperatures and record heat, which restricted line availability. This, combined with more than 50 embankment fires, resulted in a drop in punctuality.

A number of measures from the Agenda for a Better Railway contributed to improvements in punctuality. These include, among other things, the emergency program focused on command and control technology/railroad crossings, ICE1 modernization and ICE3 redesign, the expansion of vehicle maintenance capacities and the inclusion of larger time buffers for runs in major bottlenecks by re - ducing the scheduled times for stops and driving direction changes in Cologne, Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart.

Focus of PlanStart activities

The PlanStart teams ensure that trains leave at their scheduled times. The PlanStart activities were extended across Germany and, alongside on-schedule departures, they also focus on hub exits and adherence to stopping times at selected stations.

In the first half of 2019, one focus of activity was Frankfurt and Berlin and the sustainable optimization of the deployment processes to achieve improvements in scheduled starting times.

In addition to the pilot corridor West (Dortmund — Cologne), the second corridor Middle (Fulda—Mannheim) was implemented in the first half of 2019. In addition, conceptualizing the inception of corridors South (Würzburg — Nuremberg) and North (Hamburg and feeder lines) was begun, with start-up of operations scheduled for the second half of 2019.

To reduce excess stopping times due to increased numbers of bicycles being transported on trains in the summer months, bicycle assistants have been deployed in Berlin who direct travelers to the location of bicycle cars, pre-sort bicycles on the platform according to parking spot numbers in the train, and actively assist bicycle riders when loading bicycles onto the train.

The Punctuality Management Center continues its work

The Punctuality Management Center established in the Infrastructure Board division in 2018 successfully continued its work across business units in the first half of 2019. The management center acts as an active management unit to ensure achievement of punctuality targets. The focus of the management center’s work was on the development of PlanRadar, an early warning system for punctuality discrepancies across business units and the analysis of repeated punctuality drops in the fall.

The Construction Management Center continues its work

The importance of the Construction Management Center increased in the first half of 2019 due to the increase in construction activities. The goal is to deal with construction sites in the best possible capacity-preserving and customerfriendly manner. To reduce the need for track closures, construction measures are bundled by time and location, construction process planning and logistics are optimized, and the use of high-performance machinery is increased. As an additional measure, the PlanRadar early warning system was supplemented with a function that permits early identification of risky construction measures.

Vegetation management further developed

In the past years, extreme weather events with impact on operating processes and punctuality have noticeably in - creased. In addition to maintaining the proven 6 m zone to the left and right of the tracks, the approach also involves the removal of trees at risk of falling during a storm in the adjacent areas. The approach was further developed in the first half of 2019. Specifically, the concept aims at stabilizing the entire rail network through the targeted removal or support of trees. For a sustainable, storm-proof forest base, we are planning to additionally invest about € 160 million in the period between 2019 and 2024.