Deutsche Bahn

Rail freight transport market segments

In rail freight transport, six segments ensure a market-oriented price structure. It is also possible to supplement some of these segments with planning and operational characteristics.



Rail freight transport (SGV)

Rail freight transport includes all traffic used for freight transport. Rail freight transport also includes freight locomotive runs, measurement runs and engineering machinery runs as well as military trains involving passenger transport and accompanying combined transport trains (rolling highway).

The "Very heavy" market segment includes all rail freight transport train path usages in which the wagon train weight exceeds 3,000 tonnes.

The "Dangerous goods block train" market segment includes all rail freight transport train path usages with a wagon train weight of up to and including 3,000 tonnes in which dangerous goods are transported exclusively.

The "Local dangerous goods freight train" market segment includes all rail freight transport train path usages in which the respective train runs for no further than 75 km on a train path, has a maximum rake of 370 metres, does not exceed a wagon train weight of 3,000 tonnes and in which dangerous goods are exclusively transported.
Train paths for local dangerous goods freight trains may not be ordered geographically adjacently within four hours of one another, unless this involves a return run on the identical route to the original starting point or "comprehensive train handling" has taken place.

The "Local freight train" market segment includes all rail freight transport train path usages in which the respective train runs for no further than 75 km on a train path, has a maximum rake of 370 metres, does not exceed a wagon train weight of 3,000 tonnes and does not exclusively transport dangerous goods.
Train paths for local freight services may not be ordered geographically adjacently within four hours of one another, unless this involves a return run on the identical route to the original starting point or "comprehensive train handling" has taken place.

The "Locomotive run" market segment includes rail freight transport train path usages with locomotives; the train configuration may not consist of any detachable wagons.

All rail freight transport train path usages that cannot be assigned to the "Very heavy", "Dangerous goods block train", "Local freight train", "Local dangerous goods freight train" or "Locomotive run" market segments are assigned to the "Standard" market segment.

Organisational characteristics include the "Z-Flex" time flexibility and "R-Flex" geographical flexibility options that are available to all rail freight transport activities in the working timetable except the "Locomotive run" segment. The Access Parties assign these segments to themselves as part of their train path application.

"Z-Flex"

In the market segments with the "Z-Flex" suffix, DB Netz AG is afforded temporal design-tolerance flexibility of +/- 120 minutes in relation to the departure and arrival time and the time of every stop ordered by the customer, i.e. total timetable design scope of 240 minutes. For this, the Access Party's train path charge is reduced.

"R-Flex"

In the market segments with the "R-Flex" suffix, DB Netz AG is afforded temporal design-tolerance flexibility as in the "Z-Flex" segment as well as flexibility with regard to all possible itineraries when the starting and end point are retained. The only binding geographical factors for constructing the train path are the starting and end points.
If the train path application contains scheduled stops for train path design, there is no geographical flexibility. Exceptions apply if the following prerequisites are met:
* The train path exceeds a running time of four hours
* a maximum of one scheduled stop – without specifying a specific time – is registered for every complete four-hour running time period, and the sole reason given for the stop is a change of personnel or driver recuperation.
The Access Party's train path charge is reduced for granting this geographical flexibility.

A train path can only ever be assigned to either the "Z-Flex" or "R-Flex" sub-segment. No combination is possible.

The suffixes "Fast" and "Express" can be selected for the market segments of "Dangerous goods block train", "Local freight train", "Local dangerous goods freight train" and "Standard" in the working timetable and ad hoc services, thus ensuring their special operational treatment in the event of an incident.

"Express" suffix

Trains in the market segments with the "Express" suffix are always given priority in operations over all other trains with the exception of urgent rescue trains and long-distance rail passenger transport trains with the "Express" suffix as well as other rail freight transport trains with the "Express" suffix.

"Fast" suffix

Trains in the market segments with the "Fast" suffix are always given priority in operations over all rail freight transport market segment trains with the exception of urgent rescue trains and other trains with the "Express" or "Fast" suffix.


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