Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB) is respected outside Germany and remains a good network by international standards, but nationals regularly criticise its performance.

This situation is not new as we have reported in previous years, but Germany’s Federal Audit Office is now sounding the alarm. Its findings are reported by Railway Gazette (registration required, but free to read).

The industry publication says:

“The Office finds that Deutsche Bahn is in a ‘chronic crisis’ situation that requires ‘fundamental reforms’.

“In the four years since The Office last reported on DB, the situation has grown worse with more unreliable and deteriorating finances.

“On long distance trains every third service was delayed.

“DB’s economic situation continues to deteriorate. Debts have risen from €10 billion in 2016 to more than €30 billion now. Debt continues to climb by €5 million a day.”

The report warns that DB’s target of doubling passenger numbers by 2030 is unattainable.

However DB must have pulled out all the stops to ensure this particular ICE was punctual.

As a Star Alliance member, DB is a leading player in the rail-air market. Moreover, the coming months will see DB participating in Germany’s €49 travel pass for 2023.