Vice-chairman of the DB Regio Works Council, Ralf Damde, said around 400 trains were overcrowded on each day.
“Platforms and trains were full all over Germany, and in several cases overcrowded trains had to be cleared – but fortunately – no stations.” He said that passengers had to be turned away from trains, or people were told they couldn’t take bicycles on board. FDP transport politician Christian Jung told the Hessischer Rundfunk “The rail infrastructure is not designed for such capacity increases because of its condition”.
Germany: Rail operator Deutsche Bahn admits major drop in punctuality
Nearly one-quarter of high-speed trains did not reach their destination on time in 2021. Long delays and canceled trains have become routine across Germany.
It has become something of a national joke in Germany that the national train system does not exactly live up to its international reputation as a bastion of punctuality.On Wednesday, rail operator Deutsche Bahn published the statistics to prove it. According to DB, only 75.2% of its inter-city services known as the ICE and IC trains reached their destinations on time. This represents a significant dip from 82% in 2020.
If you want German trains, go to Switzerland
“If you’re looking for German efficiency, go to Switzerland” – a joke well-worn with native-born Germans and immigrants alike as they watch their train delays tick upward from 15 minutes, to 45, to over an hour. Harried conductors are reluctant to offer help, and any attempt to rectify traffic dilemmas is slap-dash at best (such as putting an entire high-speed train’s worth of passengers into taxis during a recent technical failure). Hordes of angry customers sit around and bemoan how “in Italy and India the trains were more reliable.”
Image courtesy picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser