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Deutsche Bahn: This should make traveling by ICE more comfortable – and more reliable


Unreliable trains are an "imposition", even a railway manager thinks so. Hundreds of new employees are now supposed to improve the desolate situation – and a technical trick.

Enlarge image

ICE train near Amstetten on the Swabian Alb

Photo: Arnulf Hettrich / IMAGO

Traveling by train is proving to be nerve-wracking this summer: unpunctuality is record-breaking.

The 9-euro ticket caused a great rush for regional trains.

But the demand for long-distance connections was at times so high that there were no more tickets for dozens of long-distance weekend trains.

And then it was so hot in Germany on some days in July that the train gave its passengers a heat break.

Traveling in a full train when the outside temperature was 40 degrees Celsius – that probably seemed so unattractive to the company, too, that some customers were allowed to use tickets at a later point in time.

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Deutsche Bahn has now announced a service and reliability offensive.

With more contacts on trains and at stations, as well as more generous transfer times, Deutsche Bahn wants to make long-distance travel easier to plan and more pleasant.

“We are increasing the service with

more staff

, making travel easier to plan and

expanding the number of seats by 13,000 seats,

” said DB long-distance transport director Michael Peterson on Wednesday.

The service staff of the railway is to be strengthened by 1000 employees.

These are the concrete measures:

  • The

    new employees

    should help passengers, for example,

    when boarding or with questions about the timetable


    According to the company, 750 additional service staff are to be employed in on-board catering and as train attendants, and a further 100 new employees are to be employed as guest attendants


    130 new service staff are to support passengers at particularly busy train stations.

    Deutsche Bahn currently employs around 8,000 service employees in long-distance transport.

  • Deutsche Bahn wants to react

    to the currently high delays in rail traffic with

    more generous transfer times.

    "We are not currently offering our passengers the punctuality and reliability that they rightly expect from us," said Peterson.

    He spoke of an impertinence for passengers and employees.

    »The fastest connection is not always the most reliable.

    We want to make travel easier to plan.« In June, only 58 percent of long-distance trains reached their destination on time – the weakest monthly value since the end of 2010.

When booking trips, long-distance connections that are difficult to reach due to the current operational situation should therefore no longer be taken into account.

This affects around 800 connections, the railway said.

A few more minutes would be set as standard in the timetable information and in the booking system: Depending on the connection, this could now be 10, 12 or 14 minutes instead of the previous 8 minutes.

However, it should still be possible for customers to set the desired transfer time manually when booking.

Peterson assured that anyone who, contrary to expectations, catches an earlier connecting train than planned will not have any problems with the ticket inspection despite possible train connections.

»Historical run on the rails«

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The number of long-distance passengers this year is said to be slightly below the record value of 2019, when it was around 151 million.

However, according to Bahn, traffic performance, i.e. the number of kilometers traveled, reached a new high between May and July: compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, the increase was three percent.

"People travel longer distances by train than before the pandemic," the company said.

There is a "historic run on the rails," said Deutsche Bahn board member Peterson.

Deutsche Bahn wants to invest around ten billion euros in new trains and more seats by 2029.

By the end of the year, the ICE fleet is set to grow to more than 360 trains.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-08-10

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