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OFFBEAT

Passengers halt drunk train driver’s journey through German countryside

When a train in North Rhine-Westphalia repeatedly stopped and started too abruptly, travellers decided to call in on the driver.

Passengers halt drunk train driver's journey through German countryside
Photo: DPA

Passengers on a regional train from Aachen to Stolberg in the idyllic Eifel region of western Germany were left feeling queasy after the train they were riding on Sunday afternoon repeatedly came to a shuddering stop at stations, before starting up again in an erratic manner.

Two travellers went to the front of the train to investigate and came across a glassy-eyed and apparently inebriated driver. They called the police, who then conducted an alcohol test on the man, revealing that he had a blood-alcohol level that left him completely unsuited to driving.

Deutsche Bahn, the state-owned company responsible for the vast majority of train services in German, does not allow its drivers to have any trace of alcohol in the their blood system when on the job.

But the rail service emphasized that safety systems on the train and the track ensured that the well-being of passengers was at no point put in danger.

Police immediately confiscated the man's driver's licence, and he now faces court proceedings.

SEE ALSO: New high-speed train from Berlin to Munich makes 'historic' maiden journey

TRAVEL

Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?

Several political parties in Germany have said they want to bring back sleeper trains in order to meet carbon emissions targets.

Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?
A sleeper train in Austria. Photo: dpa/APA | Georg Hochmuth

The Green party have said that they want to put state subsidies into night trains that will connect Germany with cities as far flung as St Petersburg in the north and Lisbon in the south.

According to the environmentalist party’s plans, 40 night rail lines could connect 200 destinations across the continent including islands like Mallorca, which would be linked in by train and ferry.

The Greens want the EU to buy a fleet of sleeper trains that could travel at speeds of between 200 km/h and 250 km/h.

The CDU have also announced plans to rebuild the country’s sleeper train services.

Deutsche Bahn stopped its last sleeper service in 2016 citing the high costs involved in maintaining its fleet that was not recuperated through ticket sales.

Earlier this year the state owned company said it had “no plans” to purchase new sleeper wagons.

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