The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

SBB Advice Postponing Travel: Almost all German Connections Cancelled

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 24 January 2024

Germany’s latest rail strike causes unprecedented cancellations and delays. Swiss travelers face major disruptions in train services to and from Germany.

SBB Advice Postponing Travel: Almost all German Connections Cancelled

The ongoing rail strike in Germany, initiated by the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL), has significantly halted long-distance and regional train services. This strike, marking the fourth of its kind, has been particularly impactful, resulting in the cancellation of nearly all cross-border train connections between Switzerland and Germany. These disruptions are expected to persist until January 29, as confirmed by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).

Travelers are advised to reschedule their journeys, with potential disruptions extending to January 30. SBB highlighted the significant impact of the strike on cross-border travel. To mitigate the inconvenience, SBB has arranged substitute trains for the majority of the canceled routes. However, domestic rail traffic within Switzerland remains largely unaffected.

The Basel S-Bahn network has introduced additional trains to facilitate commuter traffic between Freiburg i. Br. and Basel Badischer Bahnhof. These trains, operational between 05:30 and 19:45, are intended to maintain a semblance of normalcy amidst the strike.

The strike commenced on Tuesday evening in freight services and subsequently in passenger services on Wednesday morning and is anticipated to be the longest in Deutsche Bahn’s history. According to Deutsche Bahn, approximately 80 percent of long-distance trains have been canceled, alongside significant disruptions in regional and freight services. This has implications for passenger travel and freight movement across Europe, affecting routes through the Alps, Poland, Scandinavia, and critical seaports in Holland and Belgium.

The economic repercussions of this strike are alarming, with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) forecasting potential losses amounting to one billion euros. These losses stem from production slowdowns, cutbacks, and shutdowns across various industries.

The strike, which is set to conclude on Monday evening, marks a historic moment in the ongoing wage dispute between GDL and Deutsche Bahn. Spanning 136 hours in passenger transport and 144 hours in freight transport, including an entire weekend, this strike was unprecedented in scale and duration.

©Keystone/SDA

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