GERMAN Railway’s Supervisory Board has endorsed plans to implement a further stage of restructuring from January 1 1999. Briefing senior managers in December, Chairman Johannes Ludewig said that ’we have not yet reached the halfway point’ in the reform programme, which is likely to occupy 10 years from start to finish.

The holding company, based in Berlin, will oversee five stand-alone subsidiary companies which will be developed from the present business sectors. Each company will in turn have its own specialist subsidiaries. The five main companies will be DB Reise & Touristik AG (long distance passenger traffic and tourist services), DB Regio AG (regional passenger), DB Cargo AG (freight), DB Netz AG (Infrastructure), and DB Station & Service AG (stations).

Each company will have its own balance sheet with the objective of operating at a profit. There will also be several specialist service organisations under the control of the holding company, but they will act on behalf of the subsidiaries as required; they are: Research & Technology (RTZ), Environment (BUZ) and Procurement (KEZ).

Around 42 subsidiaries and other organisations will eventually be set up. o