Snowbound Railways: Calls for Reform Echo as Winter Woes Hit Germany

Snowbound Railways: Calls for Reform Echo as Winter Woes Hit Germany

Snowbound Railways: Calls for Reform Echo as Winter Woes Hit. Image: Werner Spremberg / Germany.

IN the aftermath of the recent widespread rail disruptions caused by heavy snowfall in southern Germany, the Railway and Transport Union (EVG) and Pro Bahn passenger association are raising their voices for change.

The once steadfast mantra of ‘we drive in any weather’ is now under scrutiny, according to EVG chairman Martin Burkert, who spoke with the “Augsburger Allgemeine.”

Burkert doesn’t mince words, advocating for substantial investments in Germany’s rail infrastructure, drawing inspiration from countries like Austria.

He paints a grim picture of the current state of affairs, labelling the German rail system as “largely dilapidated.”

Detlev Neuss from Pro Bahn echoes Burkert’s concerns, emphasising that decades of austerity policies have left German rail traffic teetering on the edge.

He reflects on a time when the railway was better equipped to handle severe winter conditions, highlighting a stark contrast to the current situation.

Neuss points out a significant issue, the recent trend of dismantling tracks as parking spaces, leading to entire trains being stranded in stations.

The congestion at train stations becomes a focal point of concern for Neuss, leading to quicker blockages and complete standstills in rail traffic.

He puts the blame on the decisions made during the old railway reform of 1994 and calls for a course correction.

According to Neuss, the emphasis should shift from maximizing profits to ensuring day-to-day operations run smoothly.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.