International train travel from Germany up by 30 percent, DB announces

International train travel from Germany up by 30 percent, DB announces

Deutsche Bahn has announced that its international rail services are increasingly beloved by the German public, with trips abroad from Germany up by 30 percent from 2019 figures and already 4,4 million travellers choosing DB for international travel in 2023.

More Germans travelling abroad by train

In 2022, more than 21 million people used Deutsche Bahn services to travel over international borders from the federal republic. Such trips made up 16 percent of the journeys that passengers made with Europe’s largest rail company.

This marked a 30 percent rise in international trips compared to the company’s previous record year in 2019. The most popular destinations were Germany’s neighbouring countries, in particular France and Austria.

"International, long-distance transport is not only central for Deutsche Bahn; the strong popularity also stands for Europe growing together through rail," said CEO Richard Lutz said in a statement on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bahn lies at the level crossing of current events

While Lutz was keen to emphasise Deutsche Bahn’s services across the continent, industry critics and Germany’s general public often point out that the company has a few shortcomings. 

Though Deutsche Bahn services to other northern European countries and cities like Paris, Amsterdam or Stockholm prove the most popular and are the best-connected destinations for international train travel from Germany, the rail giant is not so well integrated or punctual when it comes to crossing European borders further south.

In 2022, Deutsche Bahn was responsible for the most frequently delayed trains in Switzerland, leading Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to cut several chronically delayed international services. In recent years, punctuality rates within the federal republic’s borders haven’t proven so successful either, with 2022 delays ranked as the worst in 10 years and 2023 figures already looking worse than expected.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the 49-euro Deutschlandticket on May 1, and the 45 billion euros budgeted for Deutsche Bahn as part of the German government’s most recent climate package has put the company at the centre of Germany’s Verkehrswende (mobility transition).

Additional friction comes in the form of nationwide strikes in recent months, instigated by Deutsche Bahn employee calls for pay rises in line with German inflation rates.

Thumb image credit: MC MEDIASTUDIO /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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