Effect of an Integrated Clockface Timetable on the Rail Passenger Demand in Germany

Effect of an Integrated Clockface Timetable on the Rail Passenger Demand in Germany


Tilo Schumann, German Aerospace Center (DLR)


In Germany a creation of a Switzerland-like integral fixed-interval timetable, known as Deutschland-Takt, is discussed. This paper uses a traffic model and specific timetable scenarios to investigate the effect of such a timetable concept.


An integral fixed-interval timetable for all of Germany, known as „Deutschland-Takt“, has been discussed for a while; and a study on behalf of the federal government is ongoing.
Within the DLR project "Next Generation Train" a traffic and demand model was created to analyze the effect of new lines and the increase of operational speed. This model is extended with a timetable module to calculate the transfer times in the stations and used now for this project to analyze the effect of the „Deutschland-Takt“.
At the beginning there is a comparison of the accessibility of European cities with the national rail network. It shows the fastest travel speeds in France and Spain. Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have medium speeds. The speed in the Netherlands and Belgium is lower due to lower travel distances and a route system with many stops. But there are some countries where the railway is not competitive with growing street traffic, like Romania, the southern part of former Yugoslavia.
The analysis of three scenarios for Germany shows the benefit of an integral fixed-interval timetable for medium cities, which benefit of shorter transfer times in neighboring railway nodes. The base case uses the timetable of 2013, which is also analyzed regarding the average transfer times. Most of the important stations in Germany have average transfer times of 10 to 20 minutes per traveller.
The first scenario is a proposal of Breuer and Uekermann, published in a swiss railway magazine in 2011. Beside better connections in some stations it shows the benefit of shortened travel times between major nodes, especially for the metropolitan cities which are connected to many long-distance routes directly.
The second scenario is a theoretical one, setting all transfer times to 5 minutes. The other parameters like the travel time and rail network stay the same. The effect is an increase of accessibility for almost all cities on a low level. No city has an increase comparable to the opening of a high-speed line, but the german-wide traffic increase is similar to the effect of the high-speed lines which will be realized until 2025 (Leipzig – Erfurt – Nuremberg and Stuttgart - Ulm).
The third scenario consists of the future network of 2025 with no special activities for an integral fixed-interval timetable compared to 2013. This scenario allows a direct comparison of a high-speed development vs. the swiss model of a network optimization regarded in scenario 2.
One of the conclusions is that the creation of better connections with shorter transfer times should not be done at the expense of the travel time of long-distance routes.


Association for European Transport