Impact of strike

Regional rail traffic in NRW virtually at a standstill

Reisende stehen im Kölner Hauptbahnhof vor dem Auskunftschalter.

In NRW, regional traffic has largely come to a standstill.

Bonn. Regional traffic has largely come to a standstill in North Rhine-Westphalia because of a token strike at Deutsche Bahn. Long distance traffic has been halted across Germany.

Deutsche Bahn has suspended its long distance traffic throughout the country because of a token strike, a spokesperson for the company told the German Press Agency early on Monday morning. The suspension will initially last until the officially announced end of the strike at 9am. There will also be huge disruptions to national long distance travel throughout the entire day, said a rail spokesperson. He urged travellers to delay their journeys until Tuesday. All tickets remain valid on Tuesday.

In NRW, regional traffic has largely come to a standstill. More than two dozen signal boxes are on strike and rail traffic is only operating in a few parts of the state, said NRW spokesperson Dirk Pohlmann on Monday morning. Deutsche Bahn trains are not the only ones affected. No Mittelrheinbahn trains are operating this morning either. “Due to the strike by the EVG union, no traffic is currently possible on the Mittelrheinbahn,” said the company.

The Railway and Transport Union (EVG) had called for a token strike between 5am and 9am. A spokesperson for the EVG said a return to the normal timetable was first expected in the early afternoon. “Once the timetable is disrupted, it takes a while before everything is up and running again.”

The reason behind the strike is that the hoped-for breakthrough in wage negotiations at Deutsche Bahn on Saturday was not achieved. The EVG broke off wage negotiations for around 160,000 employees on Saturday. In the union’s view, the company had not made sufficient concessions with regard to wage increases - hence the stoppage.

Deutsche Bahn said all tickets purchased for long distance travel on Monday would remain valid on Tuesday. Restrictions on train connections for certain saver tickets would also be lifted. Refunds of tickets and reservations are planned for travel cancellations because of the strike.

(Original text: dpa / Translation: kc)