Customer and quality
Targets and management approach
For us, increasing punctuality is the most important lever for improving product quality. Internal punctuality controls are based on lost units (number of delays). To measure punctuality, we compare the target arrival time to the actual arrival time for every train/bus run. A stop is considered on time if the scheduled arrival time is exceeded by less than six minutes in passenger transport or less than 16 minutes in freight transport. We summarize the arrival of trains/buses on schedule or up to a defined maximum delay using a degree of punctuality. In addition, since 2020, DB Regional Bus has also evaluated buses that have been operated more than one minute too early as not punctual, with retroactive effect. The figures are recorded daily and are made available to executives and employees online, together with the lost units and other management key figures, allowing measures to be taken to manage the situation. In addition, punctuality data, together with the associated indicators, are prepared regularly and used by the Management Board to determine what currently needs to be acted upon and where decisions are required. Punctuality is the key indicator of product quality at a Group level in terms of the Strong Rail strategy, and is a determining factor in calculating the variable compensation amount for executives at DB Group.
Other important levers for increasing product quality include the use of more modern vehicles, reliable and comprehensive customer and transport information, the quality and reliability of services offered, as well as reasonable travel and transport times. That is why we continually invest in our fleet and infrastructure, and optimize cooperation with our suppliers and sector partners. We also place a strong emphasis on tapping into the opportunities of digitalization. Our initiatives for increasing product quality and improving customer satisfaction are an important part of the plan to implement our strategy.
The continuous optimization of the value-performance ratio and product innovations, particularly in digitalization, are key levers for increasing customer satisfaction. We work extremely hard on our basic service and focus on optimizing product and service quality. We offer our customers comprehensive services for their information needs. Our goal is to provide our products at a reasonable price in order to meet the expectations of our customers. The focus is on measures that increase the quality of our services and the efficiency of our processes. In order to assess the success of our measures from our customers’ perspective, we use direct indicators such as revenues and the number of customers. In addition to this, we use the results of regular customer surveys to measure our success and find potential areas for improvement.
Capacity expansion for a strong rail system
Expanding fleet and infrastructure capacity also significantly impacts quality and therefore our punctuality.
With the implementation of volume targets as part of the Strong Rail strategy, we expect volume produced on the network to increase by more than 30%, equating to about 350 million train-path km per year. The growth will be disproportionately realized on that part of the rail network, which is already overburdened today. Additional traffic must therefore be catered for by expanding infrastructure capacity. At the same time, we also need to ensure a high level of network reliability and capacity, even during the expansion phase. We can only achieve a high level of performance and growth in the network in cooperation with the Federal Government. The Performance and Financing Agreement (LuFV III) guarantees the performance capability of the existing network.
There are three main levers to help increase the capacity of the network and the volume produced:
New construction and expansion: Implementing new construction and expansion measures plays a significant role in successfully expanding network capacity. 1 Infrastructure upgrade To the Strong Rail strategy In this case, we have the potential to create an additional 180 million train-path km, laying the groundwork for more traffic on corridors and for new service concepts. The projects needed to achieve this are included in the Federal Government’s urgent requirement plan and are being implemented successively. Additional measures supplement these projects, such as further expansion measures to enable Germany in sync (Deutschland-Takt) or track extensions as part of the Structural Reinforcement. 11 Germany in sync To the Strong Rail strategy
Digital Rail for Germany (Digitale Schiene Deutschland; DSD): The DSD is our long-term plan for more capacity, reliability, productivity and interoperability. With the nationwide roll-out of the European Train Control System (ETCS) in conjunction with digital interlockings (digitale Stellwerke; DSTW) and digital rail operations, we are increasing capacity by 100 million train-path km, and all without building new tracks. The program includes the completion of ongoing ETCS projects, the implementation of the starter package, and the industrialized comprehensive rollout. 2 Digitale Schiene Deutschland To the Strong Rail strategy
Capacity management: With additional measures, we will be able to increase the volume produced by another 70 million train-path km. Improved capacity management is an important component of this. This includes coordinating capacity increases, optimizing capacity during construction, traffic optimization and fault minimization. A budget for optimizing capacity during construction is earmarked beginning in 2020 for the first time as part of the LuFV III, to ensure fewer restrictions for TOCs in the future. 3 Network capacity managementNetwork capacity management To the Strong Rail strategy
We are expanding our maintenance depots and investing in new trains to ensure we build a strong rail system. We are also investing in the modernization of our existing vehicle fleet. With these levers, we will continue to expand our vehicle availability. 4 Fleet and depot expansion To the Strong Rail strategy
We are investing about € 775 million in maintenance depots for DB Long-Distance by the end of 2024, improving the punctuality and quality of the Intercity Express (ICE) and Intercity trains as a result. Larger halls, expanded workshops and warehouses, as well as new sidings for working on and storing trains, will ensure faster and better train maintenance in the future. We will also create about 800 additional jobs in our depots from 2019 to 2024.
In order to further increase vehicle availability and to create additional capacity in our depots, digitalization and automation are also being developed further. Innovative technologies are being piloted in individual depots and gradually expanded to other sites. Our focus is on optimizing maintenance for our prospectively largest fleet (ICE 4), to increase vehicle availability through shorter downtime.
In addition to our depots, we also invest extensively in our vehicles. By the end of 2024, the ICE fleet will expand to over 420 trains. This includes 137 ICE 4 trains. Fifty 12-car ICE 4 trains have already been delivered. In addition, the supply of the seven-car ICE 4 started in 2020.
We have also put out a tender for the procurement of 90 highspeed trains (ICE 3neo). Of these, 30 trains are to be gradually delivered from as early as 2022. In addition, the procurement of 23 ECx and other Intercity 2s is planned. The vehicle fleet for long-distance transport will be increased in the long term by about 25 % to up to 600 trains. The increasing number of new vehicles creates operational scheduling leeway in order to be able to react to unforeseen disruptions in operation.
More than 100 trains in the ICE 1 and ICE 3 fleets are also being modernized to improve technical reliability and comfort. Equipping almost the entire fleet with ETCS guarantees continuous and reliable availability of digital equipment. We are also optimizing comfort on board the ICE4fleet. In addition to new seats, there will be ICE4 trains with 13 cars and over 900 seats each in the future.
The aim is to increase passenger numbers using DB Regional by implementing the Strong Rail targets. In this context, seat capacity must be increased by up to 30 % by 2030. We will meet this additional demand both through increased capacity utilization of the trains in the medium term and by increasing the capacity of the vehicle fleet. In regional transport, we continue to invest in our fleet and depots. Over the next few years, vehicles on the Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich S-Bahn (metro) lines will be modernized extensively. In addition to improving the technical reliability and comfort of the vehicles, we are also working to increase utilization.
For transport contracts with the Hamburg, Rhine-Main and Stuttgart S-Bahn (metro) lines, the vehicle fleet is scheduled to be expanded with the public transport authorities by the end of 2024. Additional single or multi-level multiple units are being procured as part of the transport contracts awarded to service the additional train kilometers. Vehicles are equipped with ETCS to increase capacity on the existing rail network. Starting in 2023, the Stuttgart S-Bahn (metro) vehicles will be equipped with this technology for the first time. There will be capital expenditures in the workshop infrastructure over the next few years to maintain and expand maintenance capacities. These measures will focus on workshops for the S-Bahns (metros) in Berlin, Freiburg, Ludwigshafen and Munich by 2025.