Every third train passenger in Germany was delayed in 2022
New figures released by the German Ministry of Transport have revealed that every third passenger who travelled with Deutsche Bahn in 2022 reached their final destination with a delay of at least 15 minutes.
Deutsche Bahn passenger delays got worse again in 2022
According to figures from the German Ministry of Transport that have been seen by the dpa, one in three passengers who travelled with Deutsche Bahn in 2022 were delayed by at least 15 minutes. Just 70,6 percent of passengers who used Deutsche Bahn services last year arrived at their destination on time or had a delay of less than 15 minutes.
The data, which was requested by a German member of parliament, revealed that the punctuality rate of Deutsche Bahn trains has significantly worsened from 2021 to 2022, by around 10 percent.
Deutsche Bahn publishes its general punctuality statistics each year, but these new figures are particularly interesting because they give information about the international company’s Reisendenpünktlichkeit (passenger punctuality). This information paints a more accurate picture of people’s experience when travelling with Deutsche Bahn, because the figures also account for connections missed because of delays.
Deutsche Bahn tracks desperately need to be renovated
The past few years have seen consistently worsening figures when it comes to Deutsche Bahn punctuality. As recently as 2017, 86 percent of passengers were arriving at their destination with a delay of 15 minutes or less. Back in 1994, over 90 percent of long-distance trains arrived on time.
A recent news segment by German public broadcaster ZDF pointed to the privatisation of the nationwide rail service as a turning point for the quality of service, “from then the company had to work economically, and save, first and foremost, on the track network,” the documentary suggested.
Interviewing a train driver who did not want to be identified for fear of losing his job, the ZDF documentary looked into how the international company functions while avoiding a costly revamp to the thousands of miles of train track which keep German cities and towns in federal republic connected. “A temporary speed restriction is like a speed limit on the autobahn which is introduced because of a pothole,” the train driver told the programme, “Many train timetables are adjusted to account for these so that passengers do not notice. Today, I need much more time for the same stretches than I did previously.”
The company does have plans to refurbish 40 severely damaged lines by 2030, but in the meantime, and when renovations begin, the German public will have to continue accounting for consistent delays to their journey.
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