Deutsche Bahn (DB) has gained a large number of travelers on international trips compared to the pre-Corona period. The railway announced that 24 million cross-border journeys were recorded in 2023. This corresponds to an increase of 21 percent compared to 2019. Due to new connections and longer trains, the number of seats available on cross-border journeys increased by 13 percent in the same period.

Michael Peterson, DB board member for long-distance passenger transport, said: “There are good reasons for the rail boom: from city center to city center, the railway scores with short travel times and attractive prices.” He also pointed out that the price was a question of when the booking was made. On average, a traveler in Germany travels 350 kilometers on long-distance transport and pays an average of 30 euros for a ticket.

According to Deutsche Bahn, the number of travelers grew the most between 2022 and 2023 on the connections between Berlin and Amsterdam (23 percent), Berlin and Warsaw (22 percent) and Munich and Verona (20 percent). A new high-speed train is also scheduled to run between Munich and Italy this month. The railway is planning to use the new ICE 3 neo for the Frankfurt-Brussels route from the middle of the year. The route is considered to be particularly prone to disruption – with the new trains there should be significantly fewer problems.

Basically, punctuality in international long-distance traffic is comparable to DB long-distance traffic in general, said Peterson, but there are major differences depending on the connection. Around every third DB long-distance train was unpunctual last year. Peterson emphasized that the punctuality of the connection to Brussels had been much worse in the past than with national connections. “The punctuality to France, for example, is much, much better than in the national comparison.”

From the end of 2025, it will also become significantly easier to book international trips. Then the so-called OSDM standard should be fully operational. This should make it possible to book a trip from Frankfurt to Barcelona, ​​for example via the train app. “We firmly believe that it would be a fantastic future in which no one would have to fly within Europe anymore,” said Peterson.