Deutsche Bahn

Incentives and penalty payments

Incentives and penalty payments are intended to ensure effective use of the rail network.

If, due to an engineering measure that has been published and taken into consideration in the working timetable,

  • at least one route point requested in the individual infrastructure usage agreement is not implemented
  • or a request by the Access Party regarding a diversion route is agreed between the Access Party and DB Netz AG prior to working timetable preparation
  • or a train path is requested by an Access Party due to a closure as a result of such an engineering measure via a diversion route,

the corresponding train path charge in rail freight transport is calculated as if the train path were assigned to the sub-segment of geographical flexibility ("R-Flex") (see "R-Flex" under Rail freight transport market segment).

If the railway track, the respective control and safety systems and the corresponding facilities for providing traction current are in a non-contractual state, DB Netz AG will reduce the train path charge without solicitation. Further defects can be reported by the Access Party in a specific, written notice of defects, and lead to the reduction of the train path charge on request.

If a route deviating from the individual usage agreement (re-routing) arises for a contractually agreed train path as a result of engineering measures, only the train path charge for the route on which the individual usage agreement is based is invoiced. No train path charge is to be paid for train paths that additionally become necessary due to engineering measures not contained in the individual usage agreement.

An amendment by the Access Party after the contract has already been concluded is only possible up to the scheduled departure time. An amendment charge will be levied for every change made in relation to the timetable planning outlay.

Amendment charge per day of service = timetable costs * affected train path kilometres

The following circumstances of case constitute changes for which an amendment fee is charged:

  • Change of speed without changing the day of service
  • Change of temporal position without changing the day of service

Traffic type changes are excluded. Changing the entire train path from laden journeys to light running is also excluded, i.e. a change from laden journeys to light running is only permissible for parts of a train path.
If the Access Party is able to switch the market segment while retaining the train path, i.e. none of the aforementioned change circumstances of case are present, DB Netz AG does not levy any separate amendment charge for this market segment change. 

A cancellation by the Access Party after the contract has already been concluded is only possible up to the scheduled departure time. Cancellation fees are levied depending on the reason for the cancellation and the time of the cancellation.

The following circumstances of case constitute amendments for which a minimum cancellation fee or an increased cancellation fee is charged:

  • Change of starting point and/or destination
  • Shortened routes
  • Change of speed if the day of service is also changed as a result of this change
  • Change of temporal position if the day of service is also changed as a result of this change
  • Cancellation of a train path or part of a train path on one or more days of service, and/or
  • Change of the day of service

Minimum cancellation fee

For cancellations up to the 31st day prior to the departure of the train, a minimum cancellation fee is charged for the day of service cancelled depending on the timetable planning outlay.

The minimum cancellation fee corresponds to the share of costs that are directly incurred as a result of train operation for processing applications that involve assigning train paths.

Minimum cancellation fee per day of service = timetable costs * affected train path kilometres

The minimum cancellation fee is limited to a maximum amount of EUR 241 in long-distance rail passenger transport, EUR 244 in regional and local rail passenger transport services and EUR 416 in rail freight transport. 

Increased cancellation fee

For cancellations within the space of 30 days prior to departure of the train, an increased cancellation fee is charged for every cancelled day of service in connection with the cancelled train path charge and the time of the cancellation.

The share of the direct costs of train operation saved as a result of the cancellation is subtracted when calculating the increased cancellation fee. The increased cancellation fee per day of service and per market segment is shown in the 2018 list of charges per market segment.


Detailed information on the market segments in long-distance rail passenger transport can be found in Chapter 6 of the Network Statement 2018.