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“Rail made simple” initiative

The objective of "Rail made simple" (German: Einfachbahn) is to radically simplify the customer interface and the products and services that customers see, to implement the principles of simplicity throughout the organisation, and to gradually reduce complexity on the backend.

Der Bestellprozess aus Kundensicht

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The rail system just might be the most complex system there is. As Germany's long-standing rail operator, DB Netz AG deals with these complex requirements day in and day out, enabling safe and manageable rail operations.

However, this complexity translates into over 30,000 pages of guidelines, terms and conditions of use, and other regulations that users of the rail infrastructure need to follow. This complicates access to the rail system, and the system ends up cumbersome, slow and expensive.

And now rail is facing a new challenge, which has resulted in drastically different customer needs and market requirements in just a short time. We're talking, of course, about digitalisation. "Our customers' customers have changed, and we need to respond", says Stefan Kirch, initiator of the Einfachbahn (“Rail made simple”) programme. "We need to make the rail system as a whole attractive again, and for us that primarily means radically simplifying access to the system."

This is where Einfachbahn (“Rail made simple”) comes in: at the point of access to the rail system, which for DB Netz AG also means the customer interface. We are approaching processes that have been complicated for customers up to this point with smaller, targeted IT projects and other solution-oriented measures, instead of with big IT, to gradually translate complexity into simplicity. Each of these projects is small, but combined they will change DB Netz AG and rail transport, for our customers and the market.

"The Japanese approach to simplicity takes a lot of work. Being complicated is easy." (C. Ghosn, CEO Renault-Nissan)