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Germany: Train drivers strike nationwide, chaos for commuters

Train drivers strike in Germany: The German train drivers’ union GDL announced a warning strike on Tuesday. At 19:00 the freight trains stopped. The same applies to passenger journeys, which will be stopped at 2:00 am on Tuesday night. The strike is to last 48 hours and will end on Friday at the same time.

The strike has been ongoing for a day now and commuters are already feeling the effects. Thousands of passengers have to improvise, substitute timetables also apply for those hoping to travel.

In long-distance traffic, around every fourth train should still run, this is 25 percent. There have also been significant failures in regional traffic and on the S-Bahn.

Problems are also expected in local transport, including urban and suburban transport.

The strike has hit passengers in the middle of the holiday season. In 11 of the 16 federal states there are school holidays. The train asked passengers to postpone unnecessary trips.

“ GDL is forced to take up this protest. We are aware of our responsibility, ”said the head of GDL, Claus Weselsky, at a press conference. He also informed that as many as 95% of the members of the trade union were in favor of the train drivers’ strike. 70% of trade unionists took part in the correspondence vote.

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The strike has also affected the capital : From Wednesday morning at 2 AM to Friday 2 AM the regional service of Deutsche Bahn and the Berlin S-Bahn have been on strike in addition to long-distance traffic.

Train drivers strike in Germany – will all train operators go on strike?

It is still uncertain how much the strike will limit rail traffic – it is not known how many GDL drivers will actually take part in it. In addition, drivers from the EVG trade union cannot take part in the strike, but there are far fewer of them.

The dispute between the trade union and Deutsche Bahn mainly concerns the timing of the pay rises. Trade unions are demanding a 1.4 percent increase in wages. and a coronavirus pandemic bonus of 600 euros in 2021 and further increases of 1.8 percent in 2022. Deutsche Bahn’s latest proposal was for a 3.2 percent hike in two steps over a 28-month period.

Due to the pandemic, the German railway continues to suffer heavy losses. In the near future, the concern will also have to deal with the high costs of reconstruction in areas affected by the flood. Therefore, Deutsche Bahn has proposed a longer-term collective agreement and a delay in wage increases – reads on the portal

What is the new Timetable for commuting:

The replacement timetable for long-distance traffic can be found in the timetable information on  and in the DB Navigator app. DB has switched a free strike hotline to 08000/996633 since Tuesday afternoon. The Berlin S-Bahn published a replacement schedule for Wednesday and Thursday on on Tuesday afternoon.

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