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TV show exposes filthy German trains

The Local · 11 Dec 2011, 13:19

Published: 11 Dec 2011 13:19 GMT+01:00

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According to the TV documentary "Markt", to be broadcast Monday evening, researchers found germs in almost all parts of a typical Deutsche Bahn railway carriage.

When confronted with the results of the tests, the rail operator told NDR that the trains are "cleaned regularly and in several stages. Within the framework of our quality control, we continually check our cleaning process."

Deutsche Bahn added that almost all the germs found in a normal human environment are not dangerous.

The show's researchers made hygiene tests in the whole range of DB's long distance trains: Intercity-Express (ICE), Intercity (IC), Regional-Express (RE) and Regionalbahn (RB).

They tested toilet flushes, water taps, door handles, grips, arm-rests and seats. In 50 of the 70 samples, the researchers found "substantial, in some cases massive growth" of bacteria and germs.

The dirtiest trains were the ICEs, which showed a particularly high build-up of germs. "What you see here doesn't really convince you that they are being thoroughly cleaned," said Wolfgang Streit, from the Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University of Hamburg.

One ICE train, travelling to the western German town of Kiel, was even carrying a staphylococcus bacteria, which is resistant to antibiotics.

Story continues below…

DAPD/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:40 December 11, 2011 by twisted
While I don't think anyone expects trains to be "germ free," it would be nice to see better cleaning of toilets and trash bins during trips. Each train should have at least one char person on board to take care of toilets especially. Nothing more upsetting than a filthy toilet.
13:48 December 11, 2011 by pepsionice
So let's make this interesting.....let's do a germ test of the NDR studios. I suspect the whole team of 4-star journalists will be shocked just how unsanitary their daily work place is. Maybe they'd like to report on themselves for a change.
14:02 December 11, 2011 by puisoh
good idea pepsionice. any public place has germs, soon they will go into restaurants and found germs on their chairs, and bacteria on garden benches, and what-have-you on the sand of st peter's ordings??

Really making a mountain out of a molehill.
14:47 December 11, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
This is an example of how journalism has gotten over the top. OF COURSE you will find germs in these locations! Hundreds of people use them every day. The lesson is not that the trains need better cleaning (which may be) but what you were taught as a child - wash your hands before eating. In addition to the NDR studios, how about doing a little testing on the reporter's own home? I am willing to bet you will find germs there, as well. People have become so obsessed with being germ free, their bodies no longer have the small exposures that help to build immunity.
19:21 December 11, 2011 by showtyd75
what of those(especially Germans)who put their dirty shoes on chairs whenever they enter the train.Goverment had done a good job by providing these facilities but its left for us to keep it well to avoid germs and bacteria
03:43 December 12, 2011 by Englishted
Well thats me scared ,I must remember not to lick the toilet seat on the I.C.E. train returning from the Berlin Christmas market to my room shared with those nice Chinese gentlemen in Köln.
09:43 December 12, 2011 by AlexR
Sensationalist and alarmist journalism at its best. And we pay millions on TV fees to NDR for that garbage (pun intended).
11:41 December 12, 2011 by eastmeetswest
Guys, I think you are too critical in this case. The messages I get from this article are (1) hey travellers, don't forget that even ICE trains are public places, so they are not hygienic as they may look; and (2) DB, please take more care of the trains' hygiene as your travellers pay a lot of money for your services!
13:41 December 12, 2011 by adipk
people must also grow up. People especially youngster feel proud to make seat dirty through the empty bottle or packing on floor and put their dirty shoe on seat. I dont know why they feel so "proudy" while doing this. DB must also make some effort to stabilized the situation for sure they take lots of money for tickets.
21:51 December 12, 2011 by romber58
And dont forget to wash your hands BEFORE you go to the toilet..who knows what your dirty little mitts have touched before you handle your bits....
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