Deutsche Bahn will also miss its punctuality target in 2022, as CEO Richard Lutz announced on Monday. Accordingly, the railway will be “significantly” below the targeted 80 percent. The Bahn boss is now calling for a “radical change of direction”.

Deutsche Bahn will not reach its punctuality target in 2022 either. That said CEO Richard Lutz on Monday. So far this year, just over 70 percent of long-distance trains have been on time. You don’t have to be a prophet to see that the targeted 80 percent for the year as a whole will not be achieved.

The train will be “significantly” lower, said Lutz. “That’s not nice, it’s anything but pleasant.” According to Deutsche Bahn’s definition, trains are considered punctual if they arrive less than six minutes after the timetable. Last year, 75 percent of the ICE, Intercity and Eurocity trains were on time.

In view of the high demand for the nine-euro ticket for local transport and the rails, which are also in need of renovation, Lutz called for “a paradigm shift in infrastructure” on Monday. The overloaded infrastructure must be turned into a “high-performance network”. DB has sold around 2.7 million nine-euro tickets since last Monday.

“Never before have there been as many trains on the German network as there are these days,” said Lutz in Berlin. He promised that additional staff and trains would be made available to cope with the high number of passengers during the period of validity of the nine-euro ticket.

However, the route network was not able to cope with the growing demand for passenger and freight traffic in the medium term. A fundamental renovation is necessary, it needs “a fundamental, a radical reversal,” said Lutz. “Continuing like this is definitely not an option.”

In particular, the railway boss called for a general renovation of the particularly intensively traveled routes. He suggested that the planned construction measures for the coming years should be concentrated here over a shorter period of time. Longer closures are necessary for such an approach, the DB explained. At the same time, however, better “preliminary planning with greater reliability and longer lead times for everyone involved” is also possible. After the construction measures, there should be no further need for construction on the respective routes for several years.

The concrete steps for building a “high-performance network” would be coordinated between the railways, the federal government and representatives of the industry, said Lutz. Construction is scheduled to start in 2024, with two to three of the most important railway lines being modernized every year. The fundamental renovation of the infrastructure is to be completed in the second half of the 1920s.