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Regional trains add to transport woes

The Local · 6 Jan 2011, 13:43

Published: 06 Jan 2011 13:43 GMT+01:00

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With Deutsche Bahn already facing passenger anger over problems with high-speed ICE trains and Berlin's urban commuter S-Bahn network, it has now emerged that regional trains are also suffering mounting problems, daily Die Welt reported on Thursday.

On some routes, the system has broken down completely, leaving medium-sized cities inaccessible by train from neighbouring areas for days. In several states, many regional express and regional trains have been cancelled in succession without replacement.

“The situation is untenable,” said Brandenburg Transport Minister Jörg Vogelsänger.

His counterpart in Lower Saxony, Jörg Bode blasted what he called a “situation that is no longer acceptable.”

State transport ministers plan to address the problems with regional rail transport at an extraordinary meeting on Monday. The Bundestag will subsequently tackle the issue next week.

The scale of the disruptions have shocked commuters, transport associations and state governments in equal measure. There was “massive anger, because despite the experiences of last winter, the system has once again revealed itself to be prone to breakdown now for five weeks,” said an unnamed source at the SPNV association of rail transport operators.

“We had three narrow bottlenecks – for example (the Bavarian alpine town of) Oberammergau has not been reachable by train for three weeks,” said Fritz Czeschka, head of the BEG Bavarian rail provider, which buys services from Deutsche Bahn.

On two further lines in northeast Bavaria, Deutsche Bahn did not have enough snowploughs, making sections of track impassable, she said.

Story continues below…

The VVO transport association in the Upper Elbe region reported that Hoyerswerda in Saxony could not be reached for the past few days.

“According to Deutsche Bahn, it’s short of on locomotives, carriages and repair capacity. The company simply doesn’t have enough reserves,” a VVO spokesman said. “Only Deutsche Bahn has problems on this scale, by the way. The private rail companies on our network are running reliably.”

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:18 January 6, 2011 by Gretl
¦quot;Only Deutsche Bahn has problems on this scale, by the way. The private rail companies on our network are running reliably.¦quot;

Well, that's it in a nutshell.

Having experienced one of these breakdowns recently between Nuernburg and Vilseck, standing outside in below freezing weather with a closed rail station, I think pressure needs to be applied to DB to fix it or let private companies take over.
18:07 January 6, 2011 by majura
Something for those that are actually caught up by all the delays. If your train is delayed over 60min you're entitled to a 25% refund. 120min is 50%.

Just make sure that you get the paperwork from the DB staff on the train or from a Service Point when you (eventually) arrive.

I had a 2 hour delay with the staff on the train stamping 60min, but provided a photo (since there was nothing open at midnight when I arrived) of the date and time from the arrivals board at the bahnhof showing that I had in fact been delayed by 2 hours and got 50% of the fare price back.
18:09 January 7, 2011 by pgfnycer
Congratulations, Berlin! We now have trains that have the reliability of TrenItalia mixed with the price of rail travel in Britain. Woo-hoo!

Before we all get on the private rail company bandwagon, please look at the UK and see how horrible it's been there and look at the past in how the former fully state run Bahn handled such inconvenient weather.
12:15 January 10, 2011 by Yanni Depp
Just knowing that German train services are suffering in poor weather makes me hate ScotRail less. Yep, there's nothing like having to walk home because of 4 cm of snow.
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