Train Stations

Deutsche Bahn’s Most Profitable Track

Deutsche Bahn Leipzig Train Station Source Agentur Bilderberg 48116134
Shopping, not rail transport, is bringing in handsome profit at railway operator Deutsche Bahn.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Highly profitable train station operations at Deutsche Bahn are helping to partially offset stagnating profitability in its rail transport businesses.

  • Facts


    • State-owned Deutsche Bahn is experiencing growing competition from long-distance bus and regional train services.
    • The company’s operating profit this year is at risk of shrinking to €2 billion instead of the expected €2.2 billion, Handelsblatt learned in June.
    • The railway was once Europe’s most profitable, as it prepared for a now-shelved initial public offering.
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Rüdiger Grube, chief executive of national railway operator Deutsche Bahn, is concerned about his business. Turnover and yields are dropping, the profit margin in long-distance passenger transport is only 5.5 percent and in cargo transport it is almost zero.

There are also problems in regional transport, with competitors such as Abellio stealing contracts away from Deutsche Bahn. Even the once extremely profitable rail network is yielding fewer profits.

Mr. Grube is reacting and is currently planning the restructuring of the company, which is 100 percent owned by the German state and has €40 billion, or $45 billion, in annual sales.

But the train stations division is one bright light among Deutsche Bahn’s problem-ridden subsidiaries.

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