2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era


We consistently place more emphasis on customers and thus on the improvement of our product and service quality.

Our quality program will continue to be implemented on a systematic basis

Railway of the Future is a centerpiece of the largest DB Group restructuring since the rail reform in 1994 

The aim of the multi-year program is to sustainably improve quality, punctuality and focus on the customer. As a friendly service provider, our goal here is to win over our customers with cleanliness and comfort in stations, more punctual trains, more reliable customer information and more comfortable vehicles. Our internal processes, too, from faster decisions to non-hierarchical collaboration, are integral parts of the quality program. The strategic goal of the multi-year program is to ensure long-term financial success through improved quality of customer offerings. But Railway of the Future is even more that: the aim of the program is to increase the railway’s competitiveness in Germany – and thereby benefit the entire industry. To achieve this, a large number of improvements in service and quality will be implemented for customers in the next few years.

  • The high performance of the two competence centers (CC) and the executive center (EC) are key to achieving the Railway of the Future goals

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Improved service and comfort at the station

DB New design for DB Lounge

At Nuremberg central station we showcase our new lounge design. In the 220 m² area an exclusive haven awaits our customers. The new lounge is split up into three waiting areas: the rest area invites customers to relax. In the bistro area guests can read the paper while relaxing over a cup of coffee or chatting with fellow passengers. Work counters provide the option of working on your laptop.

  • New platform waiting rooms
  • First DB Information 4.0

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Product quality (DB 01)

There are a number of levers to improve product quality, the most important of which is Punctuality. Other levers include the use of modern vehicles, reliable and comprehensive customer and transport information, the quality and reliability of services offered, as well as reasonable travel and transport times. For this reason, we continuously invest in our fleets and infrastructure, optimize cooperation with our suppliers and our industry partners and pursue numerous activities aimed at improvement. We also grasp the opportunities offered by digitalization. Most of the initiatives to increase product quality and improve customer satisfaction are bundled in Railway of the Future. These topics are steered across all business units by the Group Management Board.

We place customers at the center of our actions. Customer satisfaction is therefore the most important indicator. It provides a measure of our success from the point of view of our customers. We gain insights from this indicator, which we use to create specific improvement measures. In addition to the various aspects of product quality, continuous optimization of the Price-performance-ratio (PPR) andProduc tinnovations especially in the context of digitalization, are the main levers for increasing customer satisfaction.

In order to increase customer satisfaction, we work intensively on the high-quality delivery of our basic service. We focus on the optimization of product and service quality, and offer customers comprehensive services to meet their information needs. Our goal is to provide our mobility and logistics solutions at a reasonable PPR 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. We use both direct indicators, such as revenues and number of customers, and the results of regular surveys to assess the success of the measures taken from the customer’s point of view. These surveys are carried out in each business unit and, as with the cooperation with the Passenger advisory board they serve to identify further areas where customers believe there is potential for improvement.

Key indicators for Kundenzufriedenheit are customer satisfaction in passenger transport and customer satisfaction in freight transport and logistics. Success is measured on the basis of the targets achieved along the development path defined in our strategy DB2020+.

Punctuality is a central component of our promise of performance. The relevant figures are recorded daily and made available online to the executives and employees involved in punctuality management in the Digital Situation Room. In addition, punctuality data, together with the associated indicators, are prepared regularly and used by the Group 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 the Group level and is a determining factor in calculating the amount of the variable compensation of DB Group’s executives. 

Customer demand for comprehensive, understandable and current (real-time) information plays a very important role. For this reason, we are continually improving passenger information for our customers in passenger transport as well as the transport information for our logistics customers.

A further component of the product quality is a high performance infrastructure. The capital expenditures for maintaining a high-performance infrastructure is governed Lperformance and financing agreement(Leistungs- und Finanzierungsvereinbarung; LuFV), through which the Federal Government and DB Group are comprehensively modernizing the existing network. Compliance with the quality specified for the existing network is continuously monitored on the basis of contractually agreed key figures. Monitoring findings are published in the annual infrastructure state and development report (Infrastrukturzustands-und -entwicklungsbericht; IZB).

In addition to maintaining the existing infrastructure, capacity increases and the digitalization of infrastructure are also very important for the high performance of the infrastructure and for infrastructure users. Together with the Federal Government, we are working on comprehensive New and exansion projects and on digitalization.

Interlinked mobility is the combination of different means of transport in order to individualize the design of the mobility and transport chain; this is made possible by the digital information service for travel and transport planning. For us, interlinked mobility is crucial in order to offer our customers individualized and tailored solutions. In this area, digitalization offers new opportunities to provide innovative services. Existing combined services, such as our door-to-door mobility portfolio for passenger transport comprising our tried and trusted products Flinkster and Call a Bike, are being steadily improved and expanded to incorporate future digital forms of mobility, such as autonomous driving, on-demand transport services and platforms for customers to use these services in future. One such example, to start with, is the new ioki. brand. New forms of mobility are also being further developed in logistics. DB Schenker and MAN have entered into a platooning partnership, for example.

There are no indicators for interlinked mobility.

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Further implementation of Railway of the Future

Our quality program Railway of the Future is set up in three stages: in the first stage in 2016, we eliminated the major annoyances for passengers, including defective escalators, elevators, destination signs and much more. We are now in phase two, with a focus on “Quality that persuades” through structural process improvements. .

Much has been achieved in the year under review, for example WiFi availability and passenger information, but particularly in the case of punctuality we have not met our targets. In this respect, the progress made by Zukunft Bahn also did not meet our expectations.

For this reason, further changes are necessary in 2018 to reach our long-term goals in relation to quality, punctuality and reliability. As a result, we are developing operational control and focusing on organizational capability. One of the actions taken for this purpose is the establishment of an Executive Center Transformation eingerichtet.

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Mixed customer satisfaction 

Customer satisfaction (SI)









    DB Long-Distance




     DB Regional (rail)




     DB Regional (bus)




     DB Arriva (bus und rail, Great Britain)




     DB Netze Stations




     DB Sales




     DB Connect (car-sharing)




     DB Connect (Call a Bike)




Freight transport and logistics 1)



     DB Cargo 1)



     DB Schenker 1)



1) Survey every two years (annually from 2017).

Regular measurement of customer satisfaction is very important to us. The data is gathered in each case by independent market research institutes.

In the year under review, customer satisfaction in relation to freight transport and logistics (DB Cargo, DB Schen­­ker) s improved noticeably. Overall customer satisfaction of passengers has remained more or less stable. DB Sales improved slightly in this respect, while DB Regional is slightly below the previous year’s level. 

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Vehicle measures implemented

Measures to improve our vehicle fleet included: interior redesign, installation of passenger information and video recording systems, and new paint. 

  • The renovation of 102 double-deck cars for the NorthSouth network tender was concluded.
  • Sixty-six vehicles from the 423 series were completely renovated for the future operation of the Stuttgart S-Bahn (metro) within the scope of the redesign.
  • Twenty-five vehicles from the 644 series were modified for the transitional Baden-Württemberg regional contract. This includes the installation of new ceiling panels and wheelchair ramps in vehicles for mobility-impaired passengers. Furthermore, air conditioning was installed in a total of 23 double-deck cars by the end of 2017.
  • Eighty-seven out of a total of 91 electric multiple units from the 425 series were modernized for the RhineNeckar S-Bahn (metro) and the RB 44.
  • Since 2016, a total of 31 vehicles from the 474 series have been refurbished for the Hamburg S-Bahn (metro)

    Largest vehicle modernization project started 

    Together with Bayerische Eisenbahngesellschaft (BEG), DB Regional has launched DB Group’s largest vehicle modernization project. The interiors of all 238 423 series electric multiple units are being completely redesigned. This project was launched on the basis of the transition agreement for the continued operation of the Munich S-Bahn (metro) network until 2019 and includes a concept to increase the amount of open space, with wider gangways, a new lighting concept and more handles and grips for additional safety. New, large-scale monitors will provide real-time information about the status of the trains and connection options, disruptions and timetable changes during the construction work.

    Delays in vehicle deliveries 

    We were able to vastly improve vehicle availability in the year under review. Delays and restrictions relating to the delivery of new trains did, however, occur:

    • Bombardier’s delayed delivery of the 2010 double-deck cars in December 2015 continued in 2017 with the addition of a further 139 vehicles (central and powered driving trailers).
    • In January 2017, Bombardier also delivered the last of ten optional vehicles of the 430 series ordered in addition for the Stuttgart S-Bahn (metro) in 2014. The 430 series fleet in Stuttgart (a total of 97) may continue to be used, but without the retractable step function. Since 2016, this boarding system has been tested on seven vehicles while in operation. Other faults still exist and work to remedy them is still ongoing.
    • After the test run had been completed in June 2017, 20 locomotives of the 147 series ordered from Bombardier in 2013 were accepted under the contract.
    • In December 2016, DB Regional rented a total of 15 locomotives and three diesel rail cars from Paribus for deployment in the Schleswig-Holstein network transport contract west. Of the 90 passenger cars also to be leased, 84 vehicles are being gradually acquired due to vehicle defects in the year under review. Existing vehicles are being deployed until the defects are remedied.
    • The delivery of eight 490 series pre-series vehicles planned for 2017 for the Hamburg S-Bahn (metro) is expected in April 2018. The intake of the 52 series vehicles is scheduled to take place from May to December 2018.
    • We expect delivery of Link diesel multiple units from PESA (632/633 series) to be delayed by more than two years and for the Allgäu diesel network by one year on average. Replacement concepts are currently being run in existing vehicles.
    • The delivery of the vehicles ordered from Skoda for the Nuremberg-Ingolstadt-Munich-Express is delayed until the second half of 2018.

    Options to counteract delivery delays more effectively are being developed in the project “Optimization of vehicle deliveries.” The commissioning of the Dosto 2010 rail cars started in summer 2017, completing a significant proportion of the fleet affected by delivery delays. We expect this to result in a significant improvement for our customers. 

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      New production system introduced

      As part of Railway of the Future DB Cargo has introduced a new system of production, the so-called planning and implementation system. Under this system, trains are planned and navigated by the same team from start to finish. Until now, up to 12 different managers might sometimes be responsible for one transport service. Responsibility for each train was handed over like a baton from one managing department to the next. This made prospective scheduling difficult. All these interfaces have now been eliminated. A single, clearly identified contact partner will now have decision-making authority in case of schedule deviations or other problems. In this way, we achieve greater transparency for our customers in predicting delivery dates as well.

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        Quality of the existing network improved further

        For the proof of infrastructure quality that must be provided annually under the LuFV II a total of eight key quality indicators subject to sanctions as well as other assessment parameters were established, and are used to describe and assess in detail the state and development of the existing track infrastructure.

        In the year under review, most of the agreed contractual targets were met. The only agreed contractual target not met in full was theoretical lost travel time total network (theoretischer Fahrzeitverlust Gesamtnetz). This target was missed due to developments in the past which are being discussed between DB Netz AG and the Federal Government with respect to their legal compliance and their accountability with regard to quality key figures. As a result, € 15 million will become liable for repayment to the Federal Government. This is documented with the 2017 Infrastructure State and Development Report (Infrastrukturzustandsund -entwicklungsbericht; IZB) which will be submitted to the Federal Government by April 30, 2018, as agreed in the contract. This report will also address the capital expenditures and maintenance expenses undertaken, as agreed, in the year under review. Performance figures for the key quality indicators are preliminary, in accordance with LuFV II, until the audit has been completed by the Federal Railway Authority.

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        Improvements to service at the station

        • A number of measures were taken to ensure the continuity of the successes of the cleaning initiative under Railway of the Future and further increase customer satisfaction at the stations. This also includes customer-facing workflows and digitalized processes such as gathering customer feedback using WhatsApp  as well as the permanent presence of cleaning staff at the top stations.
        • In mid-June the first new glass waiting room was commissioned to provide more comfort for passengers on the platform at Wolfsburg central station.
        • Replacement of the 82 central information points in stations across Germany commenced at the end of November with the commissioning of the first new DB Information at Nuremberg central station. There is an integrated version at Münster (Westphalia) central station and Hamm (Westphalia) station.

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