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Fierce storm causes travel chaos in Germany

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Fierce storm causes travel chaos in Germany
Passengers faced huge disruption in Hanover, Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA
09:23 CEST+02:00
The first autumn storm has wreaked havoc across northern Germany, causing major travel disruption.

Passengers travelling by train in northern Germany face cancellations and delays on Wednesday after a storm lashed the region. 

On Tuesday, high winds and rain resulted in several trees falling onto railway lines and damage to overhead lines, which paralyzed the rail network.

The clean-up is underway but rail operator Deutsche Bahn said there would still be disruption on Wednesday. 

"Long-distance trains between Hanover and Bremen will largely be cancelled,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn.

"There could also be restrictions on the route between Hamburg and Hanover. We recommend that passengers inform themselves about their connections before they start their journey.”

Deutsche Bahn said those who have purchased tickets for affected routes can either get a refund or use the ticket to travel on any train on the route within one week of the disruption. For more information visit Deutsche Bahn's website.

READ ALSO: Autumn weather comes to Germany following weekend highs

The weather, which seemed to signal that summer is truly over in Germany, caused major problems for rail traffic on Tuesday evening, especially in northern and northeastern Germany. Passengers were stranded on trains or forced to evacuate them and change to other means of transport.

In Hanover, 200 people had to spend the night in two trains. Deutsche Bahn had provided two ICEs with a total of 1,400 seats, a company spokesperson said.

In Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe and Hamburg, trains were also available for passengers to spend the night. However, they were not used.

On another ICE, which was on its way from Chur in Switzerland to Hamburg, 150 passengers were transported in buses near Nienburg and driven to Hanover. However, a total of 300 other people from the same train were forced to wait more than two hours for the train to continue. At 1.35am the train was able to start moving again.

The Hanover-Bremen line was temporarily closed. Train traffic between Hamburg and Bremen was diverted via a freight line. On the Hamburg-Hannover route, too, there had been major problems for several hours due to damage to an overhead line.

Wild weather at the Baltic Sea in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: DPA

The lines of the railway company Metronom were also temporarily closed. About an hour before midnight, the company announced that all lines were passable. The fire brigade and police in the affected areas did not report any major storm damage.

Holidaymakers rescued

On the island of Norderney off the North Sea coast, four holidaymakers including a young child, were stranded due to rising water.

According to the fire brigade, the group had climbed a dune in the east of the island on Tuesday and were then forced to make an emergency call because they couldn't get back. Due to severe rainfall, the water in the North Sea had become significantly higher than normal. They were rescued by helicopter.

Meanwhile, the crew of a sailing boat in Müritz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, were caught by strong winds on Tuesday afternoon and the boat capsized. A passenger ship rescued the five people who were on board, while the fire and rescue service managed to recover the ship.

 
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