Integrated Interim Report 2019 – Germany needs a strong rail system


Legal issues

Proceedings regarding additional financing contributions for Stuttgart 21

We have filed a lawsuit against the project partners for further financing participation with the Stuttgart Administrative Court in order to avoid risks under the statute of limitations. After the partners filed their comprehensive response to the lawsuit, DB Group commented on the statement of defense of the project partners on June 21, 2019.

Civil proceedings on infrastructure usage fees

Following a ruling by the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof; BGH) in 2011, fees for the use of rail infrastructure could be reviewed by the civil courts for fairness under legislation prevailing before the entry into force of the Railway Regulation Act (Eisenbahnregulierungsgesetz; ERegG), according to the standard set out in section 315 of the Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch; BGB), even if BNetzA did not object to the fees and they were effective according to regulatory law. However, a number of legal disputes between DB Netz AG, DB Station&Service AG, and train operating companies (TOCs) or public transport authorities or Federal states continue to be based on the previous legal situation.

In a judgment of November 9, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that a fairness assessment of infrastructure charges by civil courts in accordance with Section 315 BGB is incompatible with European railway law. According to the judgment of the ECJ, a subsequent fairness assessment of the railway infrastructure charges is also excluded under the old legal situation. Several lower courts have now ruled in this sense, some of them legally binding. A judgment of the BGH is still pending. The BGH has temporarily suspended proceedings pending a final decision of the regulatory authority on subsequently filed applications for a retrospective review of charges.

Additional information can be found in the 2018 Integrated Report.

Lawsuit by the Federal state of Saxony-Anhalt

The Federal state of Saxony-Anhalt has filed a lawsuit against DB Netz AG, DB Regio AG and DBAG claiming compensation for damages under antitrust law due to allegedly illegal train-path pricing by DB Netz AG through the levying of regional factors between 2005 and 2011. For its part, DB Regio AG is suing the Federal state of Saxony-Anhalt for reimbursement of outstanding transport contract-related receivables relating to increased infrastructure utilization costs between 2008 and 2014. By the ruling of November 8, 2018, the Frankfurt State Court entirely rejected the claim of the Federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. The Federal state has appealed. It is currently unclear when a decision will be made in the proceedings initiated by DB Regio AG.