After the train drivers’ warning strike ended, train traffic was running again. The next test for the railway follows immediately.
After the end of the warning strike by the German Locomotive Drivers’ Union (GDL), rail traffic in Germany returned to normal on Saturday. “The trains are running according to schedule again,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn in Berlin. The transport company is now looking ahead to the timetable change this Sunday. With new long-distance and regional connections as well as additional trains on the rails, the offer for passengers should improve. However, prices for long-distance transport are also increasing for some of the tickets.
The warning strike at Deutsche Bahn and other train operators brought large parts of passenger traffic in Germany to a standstill for 24 hours and also hit freight traffic hard. Only one in five ICE and IC trains were on the move. The train drivers’ strike ended on Friday evening at 10 p.m.
Passengers have to prepare for full trains for the rest of the weekend. The railway recommends that you continue to find out about your own connections before you start your journey.
The industrial dispute is still having an impact on freight transport. “Because of the GDL warning strike, more than 1,200 freight trains were unable to run on Friday,” said the railway spokesman. However, by stopping freight trains early, it was possible to “start up again quickly” after the strike. The freight transport subsidiary DB Cargo is now working “at full capacity” to prevent delivery bottlenecks before the Christmas season.
No warning strikes until January 7th
The railway company Transdev was also on strike. The GDL is also involved in the tariff dispute here. Union boss Claus Weselsky has already declared both negotiations to have failed. It is unclear when the talks will resume.
Weselsky has ruled out further warning strikes until January 7th. After that, the labor disputes should become longer and more intense, he said recently. The GDL is currently letting its members vote on indefinite strikes by ballot. The result is expected on December 19th.
For passengers, the situation on the rails remains tense due to many construction sites, even without warning strikes. The new timetable is intended to provide more services through additional long-distance connections, especially on the routes between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia and between Berlin and Munich. The disruption-prone train splitting in Hamm, North Rhine-Westphalia, will then only occur half as often as before. Berlin will also receive a second transfer-free ICE connection to Vienna.
Night train connection between Berlin and Brussels and Paris
Together with the Austrian Federal Railways and other railway companies, the railway also offers a night train connection between Berlin and Brussels and Paris three times a week. The first of the so-called Nightjets takes off from the capital on Monday evening.
Tickets for the new timetable have been available since October. Tickets can still be purchased at the old price up to and including this Saturday. Higher fares apply from Sunday. The so-called flex tickets then cost an average of 4.9 percent more. The tickets are called that because they are intended to allow passengers a certain degree of flexibility, especially when choosing trains.
The price for the Bahncard 25 increases by three euros when the timetable changes, it then costs 62.90 euros annually. With it, owners receive a 25 percent discount on every train journey they book. However, the price for the Bahncard 50, with which single tickets cost half as much, remains the same.
Railway strike blog