Deutsche Bahn will clearly miss its own punctuality target this year. What is the reason for the high level of unreliability?
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
“The punctuality does not meet our own standards and does not meet the services that our passengers rightly expect from us,” said the spokesman.
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.
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.