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Accessibility of IC stations

For many commuters and travellers in general accessibility of IC, ICE and EC stations constitutes an important infrastructural service.

All in all, territorial coverage by the roughly 220 stops served by the IC-, ICE- and EC rail networks is less favorable than coverage by the motorway network, given that the number of direct access points is considerably smaller. Nevertheless, orientation of the train stopping points towards areas where there is a high concentration of population ensures a level of penetration of approximately the same quality. Through MIV (Motorisierter Individualverkehr) (Mororised Individual Traffic) more than 85 percent of the population can reach an IC, ICE or EC station within 30 minutes by car. Although the local public passenger transport represents the essential feeder to the long distance passenger rail transport, only 50 percent of the population can in this case reach an IC, ICE or EC station within 30 minutes travel time.Whereas with a travel time threshold of 60 minutes until the next IC, ICE or EC station nearly 100 percent of the population can be reached via MIV, in the ÖV (Öffentlicher Verkehr) (Public Transport) sector this figure still lies at 83 percent.

All in all, it must be stated that especially in the more rural and less densely populated areas the range of offered connections to the respective nearest regional centers, or to stations served by the high quality long-distance passenger sector via public transport, as well as the resulting travel times achieved in this context are tedious. In particular, this applies to categories of people dependent on public transport. In reality, this disadvantage is even greater since the access times to public transport, that is the footpath to the first stopping point, have not yet been considered in this calculation of travel times.

Despite the considerable importance of the rail network with regard to public transport and spatial development, numerous railway lines have been abandoned since 1994.

Whereas in the year 1994 the nationwide rail network (private railways included) presented a track length of 44 620 km, it covered in 2006 only a total of 41 340 km, despite of the fact that many new lines could be realized by then. Altogether, 492 lines with a total track length of ca. 5 137 km have been put out of operation since 1994.


Accessibility of IC/EC/ICE stations in minutes

Source: Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR) (Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development)

Lines of the long-distance passenger rail transport services

Source: DB Netz AG 2010, updated and generalized by the Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung

IC, ICE and EC stations

Source: DB Netz AG 2012, route maps of the EC/IC and ICE networks 2012

Validity of the data

From the accessibilty analyses performed by the BBSR fundamental statements can be derived on the settlement and spatial organization as well as on the regional infrastructure provision for the population. When interpreting these factors it should be remembered that the values calculated with this model are either averages for spatial units (here: municipalities and associations of municipalities, respectively,) or measuring results applying to a specific reference point (centre of municipality). Therefore, these values are not arbitrarily transferable to any point within a given reference surface.

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