‘Zukunft Bahn’ – the future of railway
23 March 2016 • Author(s): Frank Sennhenn, CEO of DB Netz AG
For European Railway Review Frank Sennhenn, CEO of DB Netz AG, explains how the organisation makes use of technology and innovation to improve the quality and availability of Germany’s railway infrastructure.
The competitive environment for the German railway has changed dramatically over the last few years. The liberalisation of long-distance bus services, an increasing market for car-sharing services, a liberalised rail market with new international train operating companies (TOCs), the sharp decline of oil and fuel prices and a remarkable number of innovative digital business platforms are all influencing and challenging the railway business to its core. Using smartphones and the Internet everything is transparent, comparable and everybody has the opportunity to book train tickets, in addition to other means of transport, online with a click, anywhere and at any time.
Besides all the challenges and threats, however, the railway has the potential to become the desired mode of transport of the 21st century: reliable, comfortable and environmentally-friendly. Admittedly, though, we are not currently exploiting its potential. This is especially the case for the base elements of our service quality, such as punctuality and information. By focussing on improving these areas, the so-called operational excellence will be essential for the entire railway sector in Germany – especially with regard to the aforementioned changes in the competitive environment.
DB’s strategic programme ‘Zukunft Bahn’ – the future of railway
With the strategic programme ‘Zukunft Bahn’, Deutsche Bahn (DB) has developed a comprehensive vision to shape the future of railway business in Germany. In this context DB Netz AG, as the infrastructure operator, will play a significant role in achieving the overall goals of operational excellence, customer satisfaction, growth and economic success for the entire rail system…