2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway

Targets and strategy

Agenda for a Better Railway

In the integrated rail system our Railway of the Future program represented a commitment to eliminate the key annoyances for our customers and significantly improve the quality of our services, in particular in terms of punctuality, passenger information and the cleanliness of stations. Our survey of the situation in the year under review showed that we have been unable to achieve the desired progress in key areas. Since 2015, we have made improvements in areas that matter to customers – such as malfunctions, track-change information and on-schedule departures – but we still fell short of our targets, particularly in terms of quality and punctuality. Our successes were also eclipsed by capacity problems in infrastructure, vehicles and personnel. In the year under review, we therefore developed our Agenda for a Better Railway so that we could continue working on the subjects from Railway of the Future and augment them at key points. The focus will remain on the integrated rail system, and we will concentrate our activities on topics that are critical for success, ensuring that the measures in question are implemented. To help us achieve these objectives, we are strengthening line organizations and overall process responsibility.

The Agenda for a Better Railway is made up of three subject areas:

  • In terms of infrastructure, constantly increasing traffic volumes must be operated on a network that is heavily overloaded in many areas, whilst maintaining operational quality. To achieve this we firstly need to continue and intensify the capital expenditure initiative re­­gard­­ing the maintenance, new construction and expansion of the rail network. Secondly, more intelligent construction site management and the organizational realignment of DB Netze Track will help to achieve higher levels of punctuality and quality. The Digital Rail for Germany project will also be an essential factor in the future success of the system as a whole. By investing heavily in new trains, we are putting in place the conditions for growth and better service, and by improving maintenance we will increase the availability of our fleet. We are thus further expanding our workshop capacities by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalization, for example the possibility of detecting ve­­hicle damage at an early stage. We will also meet the re­sult­­ing staffing requirements.
  • To meet our growth targets we are increasing the at­­trac­­­­tiveness of our product portfolio, placing special em­­pha­­­­sis on increasing basic quality. Our main aim is to im­­prove customer experience. In terms of passenger transport, we have set ourselves the target of expanding our mobility portfolio to create a seamless, door-to-door digital customer experience. The main focus of our efforts is on enhancing our customers’ travel experience, gradually increasing punctuality, getting more reliable information to our customers throughout the travel chain and offering travel-related services. In freight transport, our main concern is continuously im­­proving the quality of transport and building upon the advantages of the rail system. We are responding to changing customer requirements with products from a comprehensive logistics solution provider.
  • To improve performance, we align our process design, control logic and management model with interlinked production in the integrated railway system, focusing on greater customer orientation during service provision. Because performance depends on a large number of business units, we create continuous processes with clearly defined responsibilities and manage these processes based upon key indicators that matter to our customers, giving our management team the resources they need to effect this transformation.

In 2019, we are following a five-point plan to implement the Agenda for a Better Railway:

  • Better punctuality: We want to reduce delays caused by bottlenecks in vehicle availability We are therefore systematically expanding our long-distance transport fleet and modernizing existing vehicles. We also want to make progress by improving our maintenance. In addition, better management of our construction sites is of decisive importance for punctuality. The construction management center is a great help, too.
  • Capital expenditures: In 2019 we, together with the Federal Government, aim to increase capital expenditures in the rail network to new levels, thereby increasing the capacity of infrastructure and vehicles alike. We are also investing in digitalization and plan to hire about 22,000 staff. The existing PlanStart team will be doubled. And, in the so-called plan corridors, we want to keep the congestion effects of problematic sections on the system as a whole to a minimum.
  • Information: An increased number of digital services allow us to offer reliable information and greater con­venience. We want to significantly reduce irritations. We are expanding WiFi on IC trains, in local public transport and at our stations.
  • Expansion of services: Since the timetable change in mid-December 2018, we have expanded our long-distance services by 4%. The S-Bahn (metros) in Munich and Hamburg are further modernizing their fleets to cope with the growing number of passengers. We will also be procuring new vehicles for regional transport.
  • Climate protection: This year will see us increase our lead as the most environmentally friendly means of transport, with the share of renewable energies in the DB traction current mix set to increase further in 2019. To help fight climate change in Germany we will increase the volume of freight we carry by rail.