Markets and strategy
In the year under review, we consistently pursued activities as part of the Railway of the Future program. We further sharpened our focus in 2018 by deriving a top project portfolio based on three guiding principles: “Connecting people, overcoming distances,” “Best possible journey – together with passion and excellence” and “Arriving by the time of boarding.” Our goal is to support our vision for more green mobility in Germany, to make our business more resilient to intermodal competition and to clearly focus on passenger satisfaction.
Customer campaign 2.0 is the basis for our activities. Once the network has been expanded in line with the targets, nearly all cities with a population of over 100,000 will be linked to long-distance transport. We are also creating more fast and direct daily connections between major German cities by strengthening the ICE network. So we want to expand the service offering by about 25% by 2030 and increase the number of passengers to 200 million per year.
In the year under review, DB Long-Distance ordered more and longer ICE 4 trains, which increased the planned capital expenditures by € 700 million. Additional cars will be attached to the 50 trains that have already been ordered to make them 13 cars long and thereby increase the capacity to over 900 seats per train. An additional 18 trains will be ordered to expand the ICE 4 fleet to a total of 137 trains (with 7, 12 and 13 cars) by 2025 to form the backbone of the long-distance transport service offering. These measures enable us to create the conditions for greater reliability and a higher degree of traveling comfort.
- Economic dimension: DB Long-Distance is pursuing the target of offering its customers high-quality products and thereby achieving profitable growth. By 2020, we want our services to be recognized as the most reliable – both in terms of travel times and service. This is why we are implementing the Agenda for a Better Railway. Our aim is to significantly and sustainably enhance quality. For example, quality dialogues were systematically introduced at our facilities, logistics processes were optimized using lean management techniques and capacity was increased by using the tracks more efficiently. These and other measures will help improve maintenance as well as operational quality and travel comfort as a result. If major disruptions occur, efficient incident management should ensure that information is provided promptly for our passengers and that the appropriate measures are initiated. We are also working on enhancing our digital solutions. Digital innovations make it even easier to use our services and prepare us for growing intramodal and intermodal competition. Free WiFi on ICEtrains combined with the expanded ICE Portal further enhances the positive onboard travel experience and helps us to offer long-distance passengers the most relaxing mode of transport. Another example is our comfort check-in, which enables passengers to check into their own seat instead of having their tickets checked by a ticket inspector. We want to significantly enhance the personal experience of our guests on board and set new standards in line with our “Host of the future” guiding principle, as the above demonstrates.
- dimension: Together, our DB Long-Distance employees bear responsibility for an economically strong company that focuses on making sure that customers enjoy their travel experience. In order to keep our promises to our customers, we expect our employees to have a strong focus on customers and quality. One prerequisite for this is a solid cooperative spirit that can bring employees together and allow them to participate. This is why we are constantly working on improving our employee satisfaction, for example by including our employees in the planning of specific working conditions, which also increases our employer attractiveness. Increasing employee satisfaction is also being examined in depth as part of its own dedicated top project called modern work environments.
- Environmental dimension: DB Long-Distance has set a target of being considered by its customers as the most environmentally friendly provider by 2020. A central element of this target is transport with 100% eco-power no. 1. In the year under review, we increased the proportion of journeys using eco-power from about 75% to 100%. Although our electric rail transport services are practically CO₂-free as a result, we are still working on the energy efficiency of our services. New vehicles will support our efforts to achieve this target. ICE 4 consumes about 22% less energy per seat than a comparable ICE 1.