GERMAN RAILWAY is to launch a series of marketing offensives aimed at keeping passengers on trains following an increase in the base kilometric tariff. This sees a unified structure applied across all Länder for the first time since reunification.

To counterbalance the fares increase, DB is changing a number of ticketing policies, particularly to minimise the cost increase for families. Free travel will be extended to children aged four and five, with half-price tickets for 6-11 year olds. The cost of a Family Railcard is being reduced from DM120 to DM65, offering half price travel for a year, and can be used by adults travelling with children, or children on their own.

Special offers include Super-Saver tickets, not valid on Fridays and Sundays or on ICE trains, and a Summer Special ticket for two costing DM109, valid after 09.00 on Inter-Regio trains.

After two-years with no price increase, the BahnCard is going up to DM260, but this now includes vouchers for four free reservations. The cost of a seat reservation is going up because of the high number of no-shows, which DB hopes this measure will reduce. n