Dhe Federal Ministry of Transport is increasing the pressure on the management of Deutsche Bahn to get the chaotic conditions in rail traffic under control soon. While many customers in long-distance traffic complain about hour-long delays, the situation in freight rail traffic is even more dramatic.
Even days of delays are no longer a rarity there. According to the industry, 300 trains are currently standing around for at least a day, sometimes even up to two weeks. The train drivers would then have to park the trains on passing tracks and fight their way onto the next street to somehow get home.
The reasons for this are complex: Deutsche Bahn’s construction site management has been considered poor and ineffective for years, and there is also a lack of communication and coordination. A train driver reports that he spends hours locating trains instead of directing them along the tracks as planned.
Theurer: “We urgently need an inventory”
“The situation has worsened dramatically in recent weeks,” says the Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport, Michael Theurer (FDP), in an interview with the FAZ. “We urgently need an inventory and then a general renovation. It needs to be rehabilitated under the rolling wheel.”
A crisis talk took place last week between the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and Deutsche Bahn because customers are no longer willing to wait weeks for products. At least there was agreement that something had to change, according to participants. But there is a lack of confidence everywhere that this can happen soon.
The warning to the railway management hits the company at a time when the state-owned company is in dire straits due to the 9-euro ticket and the ambitious political goals for increasing the number of passengers and freight traffic. At the end of April, the previous infrastructure director Ronald Pofalla resigned from his post and a successor has been sought since then. “Huge tasks await the new Infrastructure Director,” says Theurer. “I expect a relentless inventory from him, which must also be published.”
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