In a momentous development, Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German railway company, reports an unparalleled surge in its international long-distance traffic. This significant uptick, which speaks volumes about the increasing connectivity across European borders, has been warmly welcomed by travelers and experts alike.
Written by Kevin Erickson
A New Record in Booking Numbers
The first quarter of 2023 saw DB’s booking figures eclipse those from the same period in the previous record year of 2019 by a staggering 40%. Even in 2022, there was a nearly 7% increase in the number of people traveling by train to European neighboring countries compared to the pre-COVID year of 2019. This resulted in over 16% of DB’s long-distance passengers traveling internationally last year.
The Railway: A Unifying Force
DB Chairman, Dr. Richard Lutz, emphasized the critical role of international long-distance travel for the company. With trains connecting more than 200 European destinations directly with Germany, Lutz sees the railway as a powerful force for bringing countries and people closer together, fostering unity across Europe.
DB’s Expansion of International Offerings
Since 2016, DB has expanded its international offerings by 20%, providing more seating capacity through new trains, increased connections, and additional direct services. This expansion coincides with a 35% increase in international travelers over the same period. Currently, over 55,000 passengers utilize the more than 250 direct international long-distance connections daily.
Environmentally Friendly Travel: A Major Attraction
Travelers are increasingly choosing trains over planes due to the former’s eco-friendliness and attractive travel times. Nearly 9 out of 10 travelers between Stuttgart and Paris recently chose to travel by train, for example
Upcoming Offerings in 2023
DB will continue to enhance its services in 2023. From July, a new TGV service will connect Frankfurt and Bordeaux over eight summer weekends. In December, new ICE 4 trains will replace IC trains on the Frankfurt-Munich-Salzburg-Klagenfurt line. A new night train will also connect Berlin and Paris three times a week, complemented by trains between Vienna and Brussels.
In conclusion, DB’s rapid growth and ongoing enhancements to its international long-distance services testify to the railway’s vital role in fostering European unity. With environmental sustainability also a major factor in travel decisions, DB’s eco-friendly services are poised to become even more popular in the years ahead.
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