New Deutsche Bahn boss holds onto railway stock market listing

Rüdiger Grube, the new head of Gemany’s national railway operator Deutsche Bahn, said on Monday he would not give up floating the company on the stock market as planned by his predecessor Hartmut Mehdorn.

New Deutsche Bahn boss holds onto railway stock market listing
Photo: DPA

“Even if we don’t go public now, it doesn’t mean we are giving it up,” he told Deutsche Bahn’s internal newspaper DB Welt. “After all, we currently take outside capital through loans.”

But while emphasising that Deutsche Bahn has to remain capable of tapping the financial markets, Grube said that the circumstances were not now conducive to a partial privatisation. “We cannot give anything away.” A first attempt to float the company on the stock market was stopped last autumn.

Grube, a former manager at carmaker Daimler, said that his main priority remained clearing up the data scandal that cost Mehdorn his position. “This needs to be investigated immediately, unconditionally and thoroughly,” he said. Details about the mass internal observation of DB employees have shamed the DB recently. Grube promised that possible structural and personnel changes would be decided by the end of May.

“We are putting ourselves under pressure with this deadline, but we need the explanation and the clarity,” he said. “I am totally independent and will make decisions accordingly.”

The new railway boss also predicted one of the main innovations of his tenure would be looking beyond Germany’s borders. The company’s reputation was formed in Germany, “where we book three quarters of our results. But a large part of the DB’s future freight and logistics business will be abroad – mainly in Europe, but also beyond.”

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.