Evaluation of long-distance traffic: Every third rail passenger delayed at destination

Reaching your destination on time - that's not always possible with the railroads. According to an evaluation, punctuality on the railroads dropped significantly in 2022.

According to an evaluation, so-called traveler punctuality deteriorated by ten percentage points from 2021 to 2022. (archive image)

Almost one in three long-distance rail passengers reached their destination at least 15 minutes late in 2022.

Only 70.6 percent of passengers arrived at their destination with less delay, according to a response from the Federal Ministry of Transport to an office of a member of parliament. It was available to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Berlin.

Traveler punctuality down

According to the study, passenger punctuality deteriorated by ten percentage points from 2021 to 2022. In 2017, a good 86 percent of passengers arrived at their destination with a delay of less than 15 minutes.

Evaluation of long-distance traffic: Every third rail passenger delayed at destination
In 2022, more long-distance trains were unpunctual than at any time in more than ten years. Deutsche Bahn cited an outdated infrastructure and many construction sites as the reasons.

Each month, Deutsche Bahn publishes how many stops were reached with delays of less than six minutes (63.4 percent in August for long-distance services). However, it is not possible to conclude from this how often connections were missed or trains completely cancelled.

Passenger punctuality therefore comes closer to the actual travel experience of passengers, because a missed connection also influences the statistics. It is also recorded by Deutsche Bahn, but is not published regularly.

Minister Wissing at “rail summit” in Frankfurt:

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) will meet representatives of the rail and construction industries this Friday in Frankfurt at the “rail summit”. The talks will focus on “how the record funds provided by the federal government can be used efficiently and what conditions are necessary to achieve the urgently needed improvements for passengers and freight operators as quickly as possible,” the ministry said. A press conference is scheduled for 12:30 pm.

In addition to Wissing, it will be attended by association presidents of the construction and rail industries, as well as Berthold Huber, the board member responsible for infrastructure at Deutsche Bahn Group. DB is struggling with delays, many construction sites and dissatisfied customers.

Source: AFP

Ailing rail infrastructure

Deutsche Bahn has been criticized for months for its poor punctuality figures. In 2022, the values plummeted, partly because many construction sites affected traffic.

The rail infrastructure is considered dilapidated and has hardly been renewed in recent years, but at the same time the demand for train traffic has increased. There is hardly any capacity for more trains on the existing network.

Many rails and switches dismantled

This is also reflected in the causes of delays. According to the ministry response, 60.9 percent of “delay events” between January and July 2023 can be attributed to “load-related delays” – compared to 46.4 percent in 2015. This type of delay includes train-sequence conflicts in particular.

Evaluation of long-distance traffic: Every third rail passenger delayed at destination
“The failures of the last thirty years” are “now falling on the feet” of Deutsche Bahn and “this cannot be corrected overnight,” said Detlef Neuß, Pro Bahn passenger association.

Because Deutsche Bahn removed many rails and switches in the 1990s, trains cannot overtake each other in many places on the network. Matthias Gastel, rail policy spokesman for the Green Party in the Bundestag, said:

The many passengers affected thus suffer from an infrastructure that can no longer handle an increasing number of trains.

“Increases in service are currently only possible to a limited extent. Especially in local and passenger transport, better services can only come when additional infrastructure is completed,” Gastel continued.

It is in the interest of passengers that not only more renovation and expansion work is done, but also new construction.

Railroad plans general renovations

Over the next few years, Deutsche Bahn is planning numerous general overhauls on particularly important lines. The aim is to improve punctuality and increase the capacity of the network through newer rail technology. New construction will initially play a subordinate role.

Source: https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/wirtschaft/bahn-reisende-verspaetung-auswertung-puenktlichkeit-100.html