Unveiling DB's annual Competition Report, Grube argued that with 25% of German passenger services (by train-km) in the hands of private operators, and 28.6% of freight, Germany has fostered a competitive environment for rail services without adopting the full vertical separation prescribed in European legislation.

"Given the positive trend in Germany we have no sympathy with the European Commission's efforts to destroy Europe's integrated railway systems," Grube says. "The successful German model should be an example for other countries to follow that will finally encourage more competition on their railways."

DB says that rail's competitive position is under threat from the lack of security in future infrastructure funding; the lengthy certification process for new rolling stock, which has become a significant risk for operators in Germany; and the lack of progress in tackling what it terms "distortions in intra-European competition" in opening passenger markets.