So what’s the big deal about high-speed rail networks in Europe and at home? Rail Europe brings to you the fourth post in a series of interviews from CEOs of high-speed trains for an inside scoop. We’re featuring their inspirational words on our blog about every two weeks for the next several months. At the end of each post, we’ll ask a trivia question and you’ll have 24 hours to answer in our blog comments. From all correct answers, one winner will be selected to receive two complimentary rail tickets on the featured rail company’s high-speed network – up to a $599 value High-Speed Trivia Sweepstakes.
Read on for the fourth post of our series: DB CEO Dr. Rüdiger Grube of Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany talks high-speed trains.
How did your railway get started?
Trains have a long tradition in Germany that started in 1835 with the first locomotive “Adler” connecting two cities in the South of Germany – Nuremberg with Fuerth. DB’s story is a very long one as well. That is why I only want to point out a major development closely connected to the historic German reunification: the DB AG was founded in 1994 after bringing together “Deutsche Bundesbahn” (railway undertaking of former Western Germany) and “Deutsche Reichsbahn” (railway undertaking of the former Eastern part of Germany). Today, DB offers about 25.000 passenger trains per day on its 33.500 kilometer long rail network. More than 5,4 million passengers use our trains every day.
Where do you see the future of your railway 10 years from now?
Deutsche Bahn’s vision is to become the world‘s leading mobility and logistics company. As an international provider of mobility and logistical services, and a big employer, we consider ourselves to be responsible for our customers, employees, the environment and society.
This responsibility demands an approach that concurrently brings an economic way of doing business, great acceptance as an employer, as well as use of resources in a way that preserves the environment in harmony with each other.
Having started to implement our strategy DB2020 , we are optimistic that we’ll reach our ambitious goal of being a profitable market leader, top employer and eco-pioneer.
What can you say to convince an American, Canadian, Mexican to take a ride on one of your trains?
Many Americans, Canadians and Mexicans traveled in our trains during the Fifa world cup in 2006 in Germany and experienced that taking a DB train is the fastest, most comfortable and a very affordable way to get around. Our technically mature high-speed trains are very well connected and even smaller cities can be reached at almost any time of the day due to the unique rail network that we have here in Germany. Non-compulsory reservations and e-tickets for most domestic and international rail services enable a flexible planning.