Long-distance passenger rail transport

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Long-distance passenger rail transport ( SPFV ) is the transport of passengers over long distances ( long-distance transport ) by rail - train . The counterpart for shorter distances is local rail passenger transport (SPNV).

Shares and perspectives

When looking at the development of passenger car, airplane, bus and rail transport in today's EU countries plus Switzerland and Norway, the market share of rail transport shrank from 1970 to 1995 from originally 10% to only 6%. In Germany in 1995 this share was slightly higher at around 7%, in line with the more pronounced railway-oriented structures there.

For the quarter of a century from 1995 to 2020, a study carried out on behalf of the European Commission predicts a further decline in the market share of railways to only 5% of all passenger transport services in Europe. The current development in Germany confirms this assessment. The share of the railways in passenger traffic in 1998 was only 6.6%.


Legal situation

In Germany, the legal regulation draws the limit to local transport with a travel distance of 50 kilometers and a travel time of one hour, within the framework of which the majority of transport cases must be en route. This regulation therefore leaves room for a minority of transport cases that cover shorter distances with long-distance trains and longer distances with local trains . In contrast to local rail passenger transport, which is financed through regionalization funds and customer fees from the federal states, long-distance transport usually has to be operated independently without public subsidies (with a few exceptions, for example start-up financing).

However, in its Basic Law Article 87e Paragraph 4, the Federal Republic of Germany guarantees that the general public's transport needs, even outside of local transport, would be taken into account through an unspecified transport offer. A federal law was supposed to regulate more details, but this never came into force. An application from the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt for a law to ensure the quality of the railway infrastructure and long-distance transport services in 2008 was not finally processed and remained inconclusive. Since then, no new applications have been submitted. In mid-2014, several Saarland politicians spoke again about a corresponding draft law, since long-distance traffic connections in Saarbrücken were to be discontinued in 2016 , but DB Fernverkehr had not yet planned any equivalent replacement traffic.

The monopoly of the federal railways fell during the rail reform in 1994 and the SPFV has been open to competition ever since. The actual share of competition with Deutsche Bahn is still very low and in 2010 was less than 1% according to the Federal Network Agency.

The normal tax rate of 19% applied to value added tax (Value Added Tax Act) until the end of 2019, which was reduced to 7% from January 1, 2020 in order to implement the climate package with the Climate Protection Tax Act . This gave the German web in its tariff system as a price reduction of about 10 percent to the customers.

Long-distance trains of the Deutsche Bahn

Intercity of the DB

The DB Highway , a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn , sets distance trains following train types , which predominantly in the interval timetable operate:

In addition, after the rail reform, some companies that are or were either direct subsidiaries or international partnerships of Deutsche Bahn became active in German long-distance passenger transport:

Companies Product name since to
Austrian Federal Railways EuroNight (EN)
ÖBB Nightjet (NJ)
Alleo Train à grande vitesse (TGV), Intercity-Express (ICE) June 10, 2007 today

Occasionally, DB Fernverkehr also orders Interregio Express trains (IRE) from DB Regio , which are the successor or replacement of the Interregio (IR).

Long-distance trains from other railway companies

Routes of private EVU passenger trains (e.g. in Germany and Austria)

So far, private operators have hardly been able to establish themselves on the long-distance transport market despite the opening of the market to competition. There are only individual commercial trains operated by private providers:

Companies Product name Walkway since
Westrail International (until May 1999)
Thalys International (since May 1999)
Thalys (THA) Dortmund - Duisburg - Cologne - Brussels - Paris December 14, 1997
Veolia Verkehr Sachsen-Anhalt (until December 2018)
Abellio Rail Central Germany (since December 2018)
Harz-Berlin-Express (HBX) Berlin Ostbahnhof - Genthin  - Magdeburg  - Thale / Goslar December 11, 2005
Railway Tourism Express (BTE) BTE AutoTravelTrain Hamburg-Altona  - Lörrach main station December 16, 2016
Flixmobility Flixtrain FLX 10 Berlin Central Station  - Berlin Südkreuz - Halle (Saale)  - Erfurt - Gotha  - Eisenach  - Fulda  - Frankfurt South - Darmstadt  - Weinheim  - Heidelberg  - Stuttgart April 2018
Flixmobility Flixtrain FLX 20 Hamburg  - Hamburg-Harburg  - Osnabrück  - Munster  - Gelsenkirchen  - Essen  - Duisburg  - Düsseldorf  - Cologne March 2018
Flixmobility Flixtrain FLX 30 Leipzig  - Lutherstadt Wittenberg  - Berlin Südkreuz  - Berlin  - Berlin-Spandau  - Hanover  - Dortmund Hbf  - Essen  - Duisburg  - Düsseldorf  - Cologne  - Aachen May 2019
RŽD EuroNight (EN) (Paris -) Berlin - Warsaw - Minsk - Moscow
RDC Alpen-Sylt night express Westerland (Sylt)  - Husum  - Hamburg  - Frankfurt am Main  - Würzburg  - Nuremberg  - Augsburg  - Munich  - Salzburg 4th July 2020 (only seasonal in summer)

In addition to local trains, some countries have also ordered full-fledged interregional replacement trains from private railways, all of which are equipped with bistro, currently this is the Alex , since December 9, 2007 as the successor to the Allgäu Express (Alex) from Hof über, which runs between Munich and Oberstdorf Regensburg and Munich to Oberstdorf or Lindau .

Former long-distance trains

The list only contains train types from railway companies that were operated in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn after the liberalization of long-distance rail transport in 1994 - or train types from other railway companies that operated completely independently of Deutsche Bahn.

Companies Product name Walkway from to
City Night Line CNL (until January 2010)
DB AutoZug (since January 2010)
City Night Line (CNL) various routes May 28, 1995 December 10, 2016
Cisalpino Cisalpino (CIS) various routes March 1, 1998 December 9, 2006
DB AutoZug AutoZug (AZ)
NachtZug (NZ)
UrlaubExpress (UEx)
D-Nacht (D)
various routes January 1, 2002 October 29, 2016
eurobahn none (see Eurobahn # long-distance traffic between Cologne and Bielefeld ) Bielefeld  - Cologne December 1, 2000 January 28, 2001
Georg Transport Organization (GVG) Berlin Night Express Malmö  - Sassnitz  - Berlin September 24, 2000 (only seasonal in summer) April 21, 2019
Metropolitan Express Train Metropolitan (MET) various routes August 1, 1999 December 11, 2004
Vogtland Railway (VBG) Vogtland Express (VX) Berlin Zoo - Chemnitz  - Adorf June 12, 2005 September 30, 2012
Veolia traffic InterConnex (X) / Lausitz-Express (LX) Rostock-Warnemünde  - Schwerin - Berlin - Leipzig March 1, 2002 December 13, 2014
International Society for Rail Traffic (IGE) Ridesharing various routes April 25, 2008 2009
Passenger train transport company www.nacht-im-zug.de Stuttgart - Heilbronn - Heidelberg - Potsdam - Berlin June 26, 2009 July 6, 2009
Locomore (LOC) Locomore (LOC) Berlin Ostbahnhof - Berlin Zoo - Hanover  - Frankfurt South - Stuttgart December 14, 2016 May 12, 2017
Hamburg-Cologne-Express (HKX) Hamburg-Cologne-Express (HKX) Hamburg  - Münster  - Gelsenkirchen  - Duisburg  - Cologne July 23, 2012 January 3, 2018
Leo Express GmbH Locomore (LOC) Berlin Ostbahnhof - Berlin Zoo - Hanover  - Frankfurt South - Stuttgart August 24, 2017 April 2018

In addition, the Austrian company Westbahn operated the Freilassing station between December 11, 2011 and September 1, 2013, as the only station outside Austria , but has only operated within Austria since then.

Historical long-distance train names

Historical long-distance train names in Germany include the Trans-Europ-Express (TEE), Schnellzug or D-Zug (sometimes also called City-D-Zug or FernExpress (FD) ), the InterRegio (IR; alternative spelling: Interregio) as well as city express and city express traffic (in the former GDR). Even fast trains met in particular as a hedge Neil trains long-distance transport tasks.

Before the rail reform in 1994, private operators were also occasionally offering alternative local rail transport products with their own vehicles on German rails, in particular the tour operator TUI from 1978 to 1993 with the TUI FerienExpress and Lufthansa between 1982 and 1993 with the Lufthansa Airport Express .


Railjet train of the ÖBB

The Austrian long-distance traffic is mainly carried out with Railjet , which are used in high-speed traffic , and Intercity . In addition, ICE trains that were taken over by DB, Eurocitys from other European state railways and some D trains for Eastern European traffic are also on the road.

The Railjet was introduced in 2008 and has the rank of premium long-distance transport within the ÖBB . These trains are divided into three instead of the usual two classes . In addition to connections within Austria, there are also destinations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland and Slovakia, and a connection to Italy is planned for 2017.

At the timetable change in December 2016, the night trains of ÖBB started their journey in a new design and concept as ÖBB Nightjet , at which time ÖBB also took over the City Night Line connections of Deutsche Bahn AG . The Nightjet runs within Austria as well as to the neighboring countries Italy, Germany and Switzerland, other European countries can be reached via EuroNight . The name "Nightjet" and the design should be based on the ÖBB Railjet, but due to the night traffic, the trains are designed in blue instead of black / red.

Web links

Wiktionary: Fernzug  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. VR Transport: Long-distance passenger rail transport in Europe , accessed on November 11, 2015
  2. https://www.bundestag.de/bundestag/lösungen/rechtsgrundlagen/grundgesetz/gg_08/245140
  3. http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/brd/2008/0315-08.pdf
  4. http://www.saarbruecker-zeitung.de/nachrichten/wirtschaft/Saarbruecken-Bahnchefs-Fernverkehr-Frankfurt-am-Main-Hochschulen-und-Universitaeten-ICE-Nahverkehr-Saarland-Wirtschaftskammern;art2819,5434853
  5. Market survey of the railways 2011. (PDF) Federal Network Agency, December 9, 2011, accessed on December 18, 2015 .
  6. Article 3 - Law for the implementation of the Climate Protection Program 2030 in tax law , buzer.de, December 21, 2019
  7. Not all train tickets have become cheaper , Bayerischer Rundfunk, January 4, 2020.
  8. until March 28, 2012 in cooperation with DB
  9. from April 28, 2018 to April 2020 in cooperation with Flixmobilty as Flixnight
  10. In cooperation with Leo Express
  11. Replaces Locomore
  12. In cooperation with the International Society for Railway Transport
  13. successor to HKX; until April 2020 in cooperation with the former HKX operator Bahnourismusexpress
  14. a b Peter Neumann: New route: Flixtrain starts operating from Berlin to Cologne. March 26, 2019, accessed August 18, 2019 .
  15. newstix.de: Vogtland-Express from October 1st, 2012 as a regular bus, mixed concept train - bus too expensive
  16. ^ Off for the night train to Berlin. Heilbronner Voice, July 24, 2009, accessed on July 27, 2009 .