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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rail Strike on Friday!

For updates on the current strike situation, see our entry Rail Strikes situation.

Bad news for rail travellers: one of Germany's rail unions, the GDL, will be going on strike on Friday (October 5). This will affect Deutsche Bahn services at all levels, from ICE trains to Berlin's S-Bahn. Not all train drivers belong to the GDL, and Deutsche Bahn will be attempting to run as many services as possible, but it's likely at least half of all scheduled trains will be cancelled, and massive delays / overcrowding can be expected on many routes.

It would be a good idea to avoid non-essential travel on Friday, and if you must travel allow plenty of extra time. Note that Deutsche Bahn will refund tickets valid for Friday if you were not able to travel due to the strike. Update: on strike days tickets with Zugbindung (i.e. pre-booked tickets only valid for certain trains / times) can be used on any train.

Within Berlin only the S-Bahn and Regionalbahn will be affected; all BVG services including the U-Bahn will be running normally (though expect U-Bahn trains to be busier than normal, particularly on routes which run parallel to S-Bahn lines such as the U2 between Alexanderplatz and Zoo).


Deutsche Bahn is attempting to get an emergency court order banning the strike, which should be decided Thursday evening. The proposed strike on Friday is supposed to last between 2 and 3 hours, but the GDL won't say when they are planning to hold it - to maximize disruption. No strikes will be held over the weekend.

Update (2)

Strike to run from 8am to 11am. Deutsche Bahn will be running an emergency timetable regardless of whether the strike takes place. In Berlin they will be attempting to run a minimal service on the S-Bahn: 10 minute intervals on the central lines (Stadtbahn etc.), and 20 minute intervals on the Ringbahn and outer lines.

Update (3): Emergency Timetables

A temporary timetable for the Berlin S-Bahn is available here (PDF). For intercity trains there's an overview of which trains will be running, not running or diverted here (PDF).

Posted at 10:30 AM in