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

Bus Transportation

In addition to the railway, the bus is considered to be a means of public transport and usually serves as a feeder for railway stations worldwide. Especially in sparsely populated areas the bus is a necessary alternative.

Construction Logistics

Construction projects are complex and used correctly, construction logistics can help to improve their efficiency. Trainings in this area focus on railway construction-specific know-how looking at the analysis, design, planning and coordination of concepts and strategies in all areas of construction logistics - from schedule analysis to operational logistics coordination.

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.

Fleet Management

Fleet management in the bus sector means knowing where your vehicles are located in real-time and in what condition they are. In addition to monitoring and checking vehicles, fleet management involves identifying the most economically efficient control of fleet management and continuous cost saving potentials in maintenance.

Freight Rail

Freight rail transport is the use of railways and trains to transport cargo all or part of the way between the shipper and intended destination as part of the logistics chain. Training in this area covers the equipment and processes required to transport cargo efficiently and safely.

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.

Intelligent Hubs

An Intelligent Data Hub is central to all smart cities as it allows the collection and process of all kinds of information needed for the relevant systems of the city. Processing and reacting to a certain data allows the city to reduce pollution, regulate the traffic of vehicles, decrease the occurrence of accidents and improve the waste management among other things.


In transport, intralogistics describes the organization, realization and optimization of internal material flow and logistic technologies as well as the shipment of goods by means of technical elements, systems and services. It encompasses the development of a warehouse and logistics concept considering the interaction with suppliers, optimizations, capacity, and strategy and transport location.

IT Systems

IT systems describe any type of electronic data processing system. Trainings in this area cover specific IT systems training, IT system processes and the implementation of new technologies.


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.

Management & Leadership

Management is the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. It can also be the responsibility for and control of a business and its employees. Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization. In relation to skills it is the set of characteristics that make a good leader.

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.

New Mobility

New Mobility concepts encompass topics such as first and last mile connectivity with on-demand-systems and autonomous shuttles, methodologies for raising the attractiveness of rail and multimodal mobility platforms and mobility-as-a-service, aims for connectivity and improvements of the mobility solutions for the citizens.

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.

Rail System Fundamentals

The fundamentals of the system rail include the development of the railway and its technical interrelationships, its legal basis, internal regulations, and the structure and components of railway facilities. It also comprises of the principles of the signaling system, classification of the various vehicles (rolling stock), timetables, and the fundamentals of operational communication. This is the basic prerequisite for safe railway operations.

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.

Sidings & Port Logistics

Logistic concepts for intermodal transport including the use of ports also require the analysis of the railway lines for shunting and preparation operations, better known as sidings. This area includes the concepts to develop integrated solutions for optimizing operations and expanding industrial railways and branch lines at the port. It covers a range of topics from analysis and concept development to recommendations for action and implementation support.

Smart Cities

Providing a city with an effective and reliable transport infrastructure; reducing road accidents and other incidents; and integrating the lifestyle and community with the latest innovations, these are major challenges of our time. Sustainable thinking is the matter of course in the Smart Cities of tomorrow and the trainings of today.

Smart Logistics

Efficient, sustainable and innovative solutions for transport and mobility are the main goals of smart logistics. Activities like digitization of infrastructure and assets, algorithm programming, predictive maintenance among others are key factors to raise the availability of logistic resources and reduce costs of infrastructure and asset management.

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.

Terminal- & Network Planning

This area of expertise focuses on designing, building and operating intermodal terminals and depots at ports and inland. Trainings in this area ensure the transfer of innovative and sustainable approaches for the design and operation of the logistic concepts, identifying suitable locations for hinterland terminals and potential for optimization.

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.

Transport Operations

In the passenger transport sector, the bus driver is responsible for his passengers and their safety and is therefore the decisive factor. In addition to safety, the Customer Experience Journey is of central importance, ranging from the way the driver addresses passengers to customer loyalty and ultimately passenger satisfaction.

Transport Planning

Bus transport is an important part of the mobility chain and needs careful planning to take into account the necessary connections between sparsely populated regions, other modes of transport such as metros, trams and mobility hubs in large cities.

Transport Policy

The bus sector is an important component along the mobility chain, particularly as a feeder service to mobility hubs and as a link to remote regions. In order to ensure the smooth interlinking of transport modes, safety in particular is a major focus of regulation of the sector. Compliance with legal requirements or standards is usually regulated by governments or public authorities.

Transport Systems

Bus transport as part of a comprehensive transport system has to face the challenges of congestion, climate protection requirements and emissions, customer demands and pricing models. This requires a system and service architecture that is in harmony with other modes of transport and makes the bus sector competitive.

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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