Bahn board of directors speaks in internal video what millions of customers think

The long-distance trains of Deutsche Bahn were delayed more often in April than they have been for a long time. The ICE and Intercity trains arrived on time 69.1 percent of the time, the company announced earlier this month. This means that they each exceeded their scheduled arrival time by less than six minutes. The last time the punctuality rate in a month was lower was in July 2015.

A railway spokesman attributed the deterioration mainly to construction sites. A record sum of 13.6 billion euros will flow into rails and train stations this year. “In April, Deutsche Bahn focused on building particularly busy routes.”

DB Cargo board member: “Situation barely manageable”

This is not only causing dissatisfaction with rail customers, as a video published by “Wirtschaftswoche” now shows. In it, the head of production at DB Cargo – i.e. the rail subsidiary for freight transport – speaks relentlessly about the apparently massive problems in the rail network. ( You can watch the video here .) “We are in a situation that is almost indescribable,” explains Ralf Kloß to his employees. The company is currently so badly affected by construction work and disruptions that “we can hardly control it anymore,” explains the board. He has never experienced a situation like this in 40 years at DB Cargo.

The Management Board thanks the workforce for the fact that the employees are still doing their utmost, “with a lot of commitment and will to fight the threatening chaos, against the complete meltdown on our production system”. Nevertheless, it is not enough in front and behind. Additional locomotives would have been rented and the quantity of goods to be transported reduced. Accordingly, one is now thinking about further “very, very radical measures”. Kloß does not explain what he understands by that. But he emphasizes that this is just the beginning. “The big construction issues are still ahead of us.” The railways have to arm themselves for this.

Construction is currently underway on these railway lines

According to Bahn, there has been major work in the past few weeks, for example between

“In addition, the ongoing border controls also had a negative impact on punctuality,” said the spokesman.

During the Easter holidays, the train counted as many passengers for the first time as before the corona pandemic. From Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday alone, 1.8 million people traveled long-distance, 20 percent more than at Easter 2019. According to the company, ICE and IC trains were 54 percent utilized on average, with special trains also being used.

Bahn sees an investment backlog of 60 billion euros

For the year as a whole, the Group has set itself the goal of achieving a punctuality rate of 80 percent in long-distance transport. In 2021 it was just over 75 percent on average for ICE and IC trains. The group expects that many construction sites will slow down the trains for a few more years. He puts the investment backlog in infrastructure at almost 60 billion euros. The punctuality target for 2030 is 85 percent.

That applies if your train is late

Anyone who has booked a train journey and arrives at least 60 minutes later than stated on the ticket is entitled to compensation. Alternatively, booked Tickets also canceled before the start of the trip if the delay is known in advance. Specifically, these rules apply:

  • 60 minutes and more late: Compensation of 25 percent of the fare
  • More than 120 minutes late: Compensation of 50 percent of the fare
  • For return journeys, Deutsche Bahn calculates the compensation based on half the ticket price paid.
  • If a delay is known before the start of the planned journey, you have the right to cancel the journey and have the full fare reimbursed. Alternatively, you can break off the journey you have already started at the next train station and get the fare back for the rest of the journey.

Read more about the topic here: Train late or suitcase gone? Rail customers have these rights

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