BERLIN, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- More than half of the long-distance trains operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) were running with technical defects and restrictions in June, according to a response from the German Ministry for Transport to an inquiry by the liberal FDP Bundestag faction, the German Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
Around 38 percent of the high-speed ICE and slower IC trains in service were fully operational in June, which was the lowest figure to date in 2019, according to the ministry's response.
In May, the figure for fully operational high-speed ICE and slower IC trains in service was 46 percent, the ministry noted.
The statistics from the ministry did not show which defects were involved and whether they meant greater restrictions for passengers.
Deutsche Bahn did not give any figures on how many trains were affected by safety-endangering defects, although the number of trains used daily decreased during the first half of the year.
While an average of 384 trains were provided daily in January, the figure was 375 in June, according to the German railway.
During the month of June, Deutsche Bahn had to contend with numerous delays and train cancellations due to extreme heat and severe storms.
According to the German Press Agency, only 69.8 percent of long-distance trains were on time in June, 10 percentage points less than in May and the weakest June figure in six years.
No data was available for trains running in July although the punctuality rate had improved again, according to the German transport ministry's response to the FDP parliamentary inquiry.
Deutsche Bahn is planning to invest around half a billion euros (0.55 billion U.S. dollars) in the expansion of maintenance facilities in order to improve the availability and operability of its trains.
The German railway company had hired more than 500 new employees at its own plants and had announced that another 500 would follow.
In mid-July, Deutsche Bahn announced the expansion of the ICE plant in Hamburg, including additional auxiliary workshops and extended shunting and parking facilities.
The ICE plant in Berlin-Rummelsburg would also be expanded for which around 260 million euros would invested in the site, DB announced.
"At the moment the situation is by no means satisfactory" as above all, there was a lack of personnel, even at the larger stations, to quickly repair defects such as defective doors or toilets, said Pro Bahn spokesperson Detlef Neuss.
This led to unnecessary inconveniences for passengers while DB also had "a lot of catching up" to do in terms of IT personnel, noted Neuss.