Deutsche Bahn started the new year financially weak and now primarily wants to save on personnel. “Measures are being prepared to control spending and hiring with a focus on corporate administration,” said a spokeswoman upon request. According to a media report, the group’s board of directors is expected to decide on the measures next week. “Some business areas have already made progress,” it said.

The railway is referring, among other things, to the freight transport subsidiary DB Cargo. The company is planning a restructuring due to high losses: In order to save costs, DB Cargo wants, among other things, to outsource parts of freight transport, especially in so-called combined transport, to subsidiaries. Employees fear widespread job cuts, but the board denies this.

It was not initially known what the personnel measures in the administration of the parent company would look like. “It is very important that investments in Strong Rail continue,” emphasized the railway. Hiring in the operational area – such as train drivers, train attendants or service managers – is not affected.

Qualified hiring freeze?

The savings measures are necessary because the railway started the current year worse than planned “due to external factors”. This primarily refers to the collective agreement with the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL), which both sides agreed to shortly before Easter after months of struggle. “Against this background, the DB Group is preparing a common framework that ensures that the group management also makes its contribution,” it said.

According to a report by the Reuters news agency, Deutsche Bahn is planning a qualified hiring freeze, which means that new appointments and, above all, new positions would have to be approved by the group management. In long-distance transport alone, 250 million euros would have to be saved in order to achieve the annual targets. The railway did not comment on the report when requested.