Long-distance trains: DB punctuality: Worst value in eight years

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is more unpunctual in long-distance transport than it has been in eight years.

Long-distance trains: DB punctuality: Worst value in eight years

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is more unpunctual in long-distance transport than it has been in eight years. Last month, every second long-distance train from the federally owned company was late. In November, only 52 percent of ICE and IC trains reached their destination on time, a DB spokesman told “Bild am Sonntag”.

The main reason is the “short-term construction activity”, which has increased significantly year-on-year. Around 75 percent of long-distance trains were slowed down by at least one construction site. Due to the significant renovation backlog, the DB had to significantly expand the construction volume in the current year.

This year, another two billion euros were spent, the railway said. Starting next year, “many smaller construction projects will be bundled into compact corridor renovations.”

Canceled moves are not included in statistics

According to Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing, the unsatisfactory punctuality rate is due to decades of neglect of the infrastructure. “There is no way around the general renovation of the railway if we want to have more punctual trains again,” the FDP politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Next year, the Riedbahn between Mannheim and Frankfurt - one of the main arteries of the railway network - will be completely renovated: "This will have a positive impact on reliability and punctuality throughout Germany."

A train that is less than six minutes late is considered on time. Canceled trains are not taken into account in the statistics. It also doesn't show missed connections. In October, the group's ICE and IC trains only reached 58.6 percent of their stops without much delay.

“The punctuality does not meet our own standards and does not meet the services that our passengers rightly expect from us,” said the railway spokesman. Deutsche Bahn will clearly miss its own punctuality target this year. At the beginning of the year, the group had set itself the goal of achieving punctuality in long-distance transport of well over 70 percent. “With a punctuality of around 66 percent in the first ten months, it is clear that the targeted punctuality of around 70 percent for 2023 can no longer be achieved,” it said at the beginning of November.

It has been known for years that the railway has a problem with punctuality, especially in international comparison. Recently, the problem has worsened further: the value fell from 75.2 percent in 2021 to 65.2 percent last year.

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