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What's changing for train travellers in Germany in June

The Local Germany
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What's changing for train travellers in Germany in June
Train passengers walk through Berlin's main train station on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Annette Riedl

From new rules on when passengers can claim compensation following a delay to easier access for people with disabilities, here's what's changing for train passengers in Germany in June.

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New rules on compensation

Starting on June 7th, in the event of train delays outside of a rail company’s control - a storm for example - passengers will no longer be entitled to compensation. However, they can still claim a refund for strikes and delays caused by mechanical failures. The new rule is part of an EU-wide regulation.

State-owned Deutsche Bahn paid its passengers a record high amount of 97.2 million in ‘compensatory damages’ in 2022, up from 24.6 million in 2016, according to the company itself.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to get compensation for cancelled or delayed trains in Germany

More room for cyclists

There’s good news for cyclists who want to trek across Germany - or at least a region of it - on a long distance Deutsche Bahn train. At least four spaces where bikes can be stored must now be made available on every train. Passengers will be able to check online how many are still available. 

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There are plans to further expand the capacity for taking bicycles on board. "In future, passengers will have the right to take their bicycles with them on long-distance and regional trains," according to the government’s plans.

Currently cyclists booking a ticket on an ICE train are required to also purchase a ticket for their bike, or risk being asked to leave the train, particularly in the fuller summer months.

man on deutsche bahn train

A man steps out a Deutsche Bahn's ICE L train with a step-free entry and exit, during a press event in Berlin, on September 14, 2022. (Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)

Disability help with less advanced notice

Most train services provide help for people with disabilities, for example an employee who assists with boarding, disembarking or transferring. 

Previously this had to be asked for 48 hours in advance, a time which has now been reduced to 24. The new regulation applies to all regional trains throughout the EU.

Better passenger rights

If a railway company or its subsidiaries operate several sections that passengers want to cover with long-distance and regional trains, passengers will have the right to a ticket for the entire route with the new EU regulation. 

This strengthens the rights of passengers for possible compensation claims due to delays.

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Still time to get a Deutschlandticket for June

While most transport providers require that the €49 ticket be booked 10 days before the start of the new month, a few apps allow the ticket to be purchased at anytime during the month - even June 30th.

Some such as Mop.la are even currently offering the first month for €39. Subsequent months will be automatically debited at €49 every month for the new month, although the ticket can be cancelled at any time.

German politicians are currently discussing upping the fare, but for the time being the ticket for all local and regional train travel in Germany won’t set riders back more than €49 - or even less if they have a special ticket for students, employees or people receiving social benefits.

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