Article: Restructure and invest
Restructuring, performance and growth are part of the campaign that is driving Deutsche Bahn AG forward. Since 2000, there is hardly an area that has not been checked and double-checked.
2000 2.2 million visitors take the train to Expo 2000 in Hanover. For the first time, they can use the ICE 3, which is certified for a maximum speed of 330 km/h. Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management since December 1999, is about to refocus the company’s business strategy to improve its competitiveness in the transportation marketplace. The prerequisite is to ensure that the need to catch up on investments is not ignored. And the Group’s restructuring stage is far from over. New programmes and mid-term plans are being launched. The merger of the freight transport divisions of Deutsche Bahn and NS Groep N.V. to form the Railion joint venture is the first of new European partnerships in the freight transport sector.
2001 sees the continuation of the restructuring and investment programme. Under the motto “Campaigning for Rail” Deutsche Bahn is increasing investments in the renewal of the existing network and in the vehicle fleet. On the basis of a trilateral agreement between Deutsche Bahn, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance, the federal funds to be used for financing the infrastructure until 2003 are allocated. A new high-tech operating centre is opened in Munich.
2002 is the year the company manages to acquire Stinnes AG. The acquisition of the international logistics company and the Schenker Group means that Deutsche Bahn can now strengthen its position on the freight traffic market. The newly constructed Cologne – Frankfurt high-speed rail link opens. Six years after the official start of construction, the backbone of the European high-speed rail network is now completed. In 2002, for the first time in railway history, European rail companies synchronise their timetables. The worst floods of the century cause very severe damage to railway lines in districts along the Elbe and its tributaries.
2003 sees the introduction of the new “Transport and Logistics” corporate division, which includes the Schenker, Freight Logistics, Intermodal and Railion business areas. The management company is Stinnes AG. The pricing system for passenger services is modified to meet the customers' requirements. The popular BahnCard is now available as the BahnCard 25, 50 and 100. The offers available on the company website for bargain-hunters have been expanded with the addition of Surf&Rail at www.bahn.de. BahnCard holders can now continue their journeys on local transport services at no extra charge in 40 cities. DB Netz AG put 34 modern electronic signal boxes into operation – more than in any 12-month period before.
2004 Ten years after the foundation of Deutsche Bahn AG, the positive sales and operating result figures confirm the course adopted as an entrepreneurially managed, integrated group. Highlights of the year are the commissioning of the Cologne/Bonn airport station and the entry into service of the upgraded Berlin - Hamburg line. This line between the centres of the two cities on the River Spree and the Alster can now be covered in about one and a half hours. New double-deck coaches, Class 423 and 425 railcars and Class 146 locomotives are purchased. The successful DB subsidiary Schenker invests increasingly in the logistics area.
2005 The investments in new electronic interlockings continue at a high level. 33 projects have been implemented, including a new interlocking in Eutin (Schleswig-Holstein) and in Frankfurt am Main. Also in Frankfurt am Main central station, the thorough renewal of the 50,000 m² roof surface is completed. The construction of the Katzenberg tunnel is started for the new and upgraded line Karlsruhe - Basel. In Berlin, the completion of the new central station enters the final phase with the successful lowering of the gantry bridges. Thanks to attractive special offers and an extended car-sharing, "Call a Bike" and parking service offering, Deutsche Bahn increases its customer numbers. With the purchase of Bax Global Inc., Deutsche Bahn strengthens its position as an internationally active forwarder and logistics service provider.
2006 witnesses Deutsche Bahn AG as the national carrier and official transport and logistics service provider of the FIFA World Cup 2006 (TM). Fifteen million World Cup guests travel on DB AG trains during the four-week sporting event. DB subsidiary Schenker equips the stadiums with media technology. Following 8 years of construction work, Berlin’s new Central Station designed by Meinhard von Gerkan is opened right on schedule for the World Cup. On the new North-South corridor, the Berlin – Leipzig / Halle line enters into service at 200 kmh. Further highlights of the year include the entry into service of the new and upgraded Nürnberg – Ingolstadt – Munich line and inauguration of Dresden main station, renovated according to plans by British architect, Sir Norman Foster. Deutsche Bahn AG continues to extend its worldwide transport and logistics business with the continued integration of Schenker and BAX Global. The Group extends its presence in the Asian-Pacific region and becomes significantly more international. 2006 produces the best financial result in the history of DB AG.
2007 is the best financial year in the history of DB AG and is greatly influenced by the process of internationalisation. Passenger transport has extended its network across Europe, with ICE trains now running to Paris, Copenhagen, Aarhus and Vienna. An important building block in the internationalisation strategy is the RailTeam alliance, which DB AG and six other European railways established with the aim of creating a common European high-speed network. In addition, DB AG acquires Danish bus company, Pan Bus, and Spanish freight railway, Transfesa, in liberalised foreign markets. With acquisition of Laing Rail Ltd. DB AG makes its first foray into passenger rail transport in Britain. DB AG and the German government invested 3.5 billion euros in infrastructure in Germany. As a part of wage negotiations, members of the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) strike for several days. Dark days loom for nicotine addicts: smoking is now prohibited aboard trains and in stations.
2008 witnessed the Federal Government and the Bundestag agree to the partial privatisation of the DB Group. Owing to unfavourable developments on the global stock exchanges, the IPO of DB Mobility Logistics AG planned for October 2008 is cancelled at short notice. Despite the difficult economic conditions resulting from the financial crisis and fluctuating energy prices, DB AG boosts its turnover to 33.5 billion euros. The Group continues its corporate strategy of offering worldwide mobility and logistics chains. The TransEurasia-Express proves that it is technically possible to link the Port of Hamburg with China’s economic zones. The rail freight network expands to include cooperation agreements and shareholdings in northern Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and Poland. Key in setting the course for the future, a performance and financing agreement is concluded with the Federal Government, which undertakes to make 2.5 billion euros available annually for a substantial period of time, while DB AG agrees to provide 500 million euros of its own funds for the network, stations and supply of energy. In January the travelling exhibition “Special Trains to Death. Deportations with Deutsche Reichsbahn” opens at the Potsdamer Platz station in Berlin.