Our glossary

It gives you an understanding of technical terms and explanations.

To help you find the individual terms, we have organized them in alphabetical order. If a term is still unclear to you or you cannot find it in our glossary, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Product Area

Data Analytics and Solutions

Data Analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, cleansing, transforming and modeling data. The overall goal is to discover and extract useful information to improve management decision-making and develop rail business solutions based on digital data.

Digital Business

Digital mobility is changing the entire mobility market and the way in which railroads will provide mobility for your customers in the future. To cope with this digital disruption, new digital business approaches have to be developed.

Digital Technology

Progress in today's digital technology is driving the development of tomorrow's railroads. Engineering knowledge must therefore be combined with digital knowledge if the practical application of digital or computer-based systems in railroads is to be successful.

Innovation & Digitization

Innovation is the creation, development and implementation of new products, processes or services. Digitalization is usually associated with innovation. Digitalization encompasses the entire spectrum of new technologies, including applications of artificial intelligence in railway operations, block chain and predictive maintenance.


Logistics is a complex system that deals with the intelligent planning, control, optimization and implementation of supply chains. This involves the transport, storage, handling, picking, sorting, packing and distribution of goods over various transport routes: road, rail, water and air.

Metro & Light Rail

Metro systems as urban, electric transport systems offer high capacity and a high frequency of service. They are independent from other traffic, often found in large cities and mostly run underground. Light Rail systems use either individual tram or streetcars or several units coupled to form a train that runs primarily on street surfaces. It is lower capacity and lower speed than a metro system.

Public Transport

Public authorities and transport companies are facing various challenges: demographic change, evolving mobility needs and climate protection requirements. All need considering when setting up and planning public transport systems.

Rail Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the fundamental component of the rail system. Trainings in this area cover the principles of rail systems and the interconnection of each component for an efficient and safe rail operation. They explain key topics in the construction and maintenance of railways including control and safety technologies.

Rail Maintenance

Equipment in good working order and regular maintenance are the basis for a successful and safely operated railway system. Rail Maintenance includes all the activities and equipment needed to maintain rail operations.

Rail Operations

Rail operations sums up all the activities and equipment needed to move railway vehicles and to guarantee the safety, control and monitoring of train movements. It includes the formation of trains and emergency management. This subsystem significantly affects the infrastructure, the timetable and rolling stock.

Rail Quality, Safety & Security

High levels of quality and safety are key assets of a railway. It is vital that rail operators maintain these standards as they affect the passengers and customers as well as the workers and the environment. This area covers all processes and measures necessary for a high-quality, safe and risk-free railway system.

Rolling Stock

Rolling Stock refers to all powered and unpowered vehicles used on a railway, for example locomotives, engines and carriages. Trainings in this area cover the principle elements of rolling stock, the basics of vehicle technology, and technical considerations specific to the mode of transport and element of rolling stock.

Soft Skills & Business Know-how

Soft skills concern personal, social and methodical competencies. They are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Business know-how is the knowledge and ability to run things within a company.

System Rail

The railway and its elements form a complex system characterized by a multitude of internal and external interactions between the subsystems and their environment. Trainings in this area cover the system in its entirety and the relationships between the various sub-areas.

Transport Logistics

From the initial feasibility study to operations, freight and passenger transport logistics concepts require the analysis of the specific operational requirements and possible risks. With trainings in this area you will be able to analyze the current framework for the concept, identify the traffic and operational requirements, develop a preliminary design and include operations and maintenance procedures.

Target Group

Apprentices / Newcomers

Apprentices and Newcomers have no professional experience in their respective field. This target group includes graduates, trainees and employees from different fields of expertise. Apprentices are young professionals who enter the rail industry while newcomers include all new employees that are entering the industry.

Managers / Executives

Managers are people with extensive experience in their respective field and with managerial responsibility. This target group includes all management levels. Executives have extensive experience in management but not necessarily a deep expert knowledge in a particular area. The target groups management and executives are mostly combined as one target group.

Specialists / Experts

Specialists and experts are professionals with experience in their respective field. This target group includes all technical and non-technical staff without managerial responsibility. Experts have an academic degree with a broader portfolio of topics while specialists have a certification of vocational education.

Course Level


Advanced training builds on fundamental training by expanding or enhancing knowledge in the respective field. The objective of the training is to deepen the respective topic and to build a comprehensive understanding.


Fundamental training sessions involve the transfer of basic knowledge. No prerequisites are required. The objective of this training is to build a fundamental understanding of the respective topic.

Type of Course

Online Training

In a digital environment knowledge and experience will be conveyed in our virtual classroom. Although the trainer and students do not physically share the room, a conducive learning environment is created through interactive communication with and engagement of participants. This type of training allows students from all over the world to join in, no matter where they are, and communicate with other experts worldwide. Our virtual classrooms promote interactivity and enhance the learning experience. It is a good way to acquire knowledge in a familiar environment.

Practical Training

Practical training is training without theoretical input at any time. The training takes place in a real or simulated environment. The objective is to learn through a guided teaching method and learning by doing.


Programs are long-term training events that combine single products or modules together to make up an end product and that include a variety of training courses and topics. A program follows a defined structure and schedule. The objective of this type of course is to professionalize in an intensive and comprehensive manner by illuminating different sub-topics.


This type of course is a single or stand-alone product or a module that can be combined together with others to become a program or can be conducted on its own.

Study Tour

Study tours are small programs that are organized in Germany to gain insights into the rail business. Elements of a study tour are different theoretical input sessions, site visits and excursions, networking and evening events. The objective of a study tour is to combine a site visit tour of DB facilities with theoretical knowledge.


Attendance Certificate

A Certificate of Attendance, or Certificate for short, is a DB Rail Academy brand document that confirms successful participation in a training course or program. There is no evaluation system behind it and therefore no official evaluation or final examination. This is issued by the responsibility of the DB Rail Academy.


A degree is a DB Rail Academy-specific document or official confirmation of successful completion of the education or training program. This is done on the basis of a DBRA-specific assessment system that includes learning objectives by comparing content with its application (transfer). The assessment includes daily assessment, project work, reports, presentations and/or tests by an expert.


A degree is achieved after an academically oriented and long-term educational program or study. This includes at least one locally recognized document confirming compliance with legal and political standards. The certification gives access to higher positions and the possibility to take over certain professions and work areas. It is based on recognized and standardized content with a complex evaluation system that is offered at regular intervals.

Recognized Certification/Degree

A recognized certification or degree is certified by a local political institution or an official certifier. This quality seal confirms high and/or local standards with which the respective training is compliant. 



We believe that assessment does not just mean evaluating the success of learning after training is completed but to also identify the level of knowledge before training. Understanding each participant’s level of knowledge helps us to transfer knowledge to the right level. Through daily assessments during the training, our trainers receive feedback on the topics that need to be reflected on in more depth and they can also give learners feedback on how intensive their learning process has been so far. Final assessments on the other hand, give a full picture of how successful the training was for our participants and our trainers.


In lectures, the teacher or expert plays a dominant role in knowledge transfer. The learners, on the other hand, consume the structured learning content. The objective is to introduce new content, reach a large number of employees at the same time or to build a common ground of knowledge. Another description is theoretical training.


In seminars, an interactive treatment of a topic takes place under guidance of an expert (teacher, lecturer). The participants acquire knowledge through interaction with each other and with the expert. In this context, learning is the exploration of a topic.

Basic Terms

Learning Formats

A learning format describes the environment where learning takes place. This can be self-directed in self-learning units, but also externally controlled by a trainer who imparts his/her knowledge in a structured way by using different didactical methods. Learning can take place physically together in the same place at the same time (classroom) or in a virtual environment (online training), but also in a combination of different learning formats, such as online, present and individual.

Type of Course

The course type describes the different kinds of courses that we offer. Those can be in the form of a single course, which is conducted in presence, but also in the combination of several courses as a program. Besides presence courses, we also offer online courses. With our different course types, we offer a varied learning experience in line with the learning preferences of our participants.


A method enables trainers and experts to convey their valuable knowledge in a structured way. We use a variety of methods for our courses. This enables us to design an efficient, interactive and fair exchange of knowledge for all types of learners, thus promoting the sustainable development of competencies.


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