Strike on the railway threatens! This is what travelers need to know – and they need to do it

It could be ready in the next few days: Then Claus Weselsky and his GDL could call for a strike.

The ballot in which the members decide on the labor dispute ends on this Monday. GDL boss Claus Weselsky wants to present the result on Tuesday. He expects an agreement of more than 90 percent. It is still unclear when the strike could take place. the Deutsche Bahn again called on the union to negotiate again. Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) urged the tariff parties to be prudent.

“Nobody really needs this strike now,” said the head of personnel at the state-owned railway company, Martin Seiler. “Ultimately, this is an attack on the whole country.” After the corona restrictions, many people are only now starting to travel again. The “Bild am Sonntag” said Seiler, “in terms of content there is zero point zero reason to strike. Scheuer told the “Welt am Sonntag”, “Right now we need to be together”. The Corona time hit the railway hard.

Weselsky announced in advance that the strike could last longer this time than in 2015. At that time, Deutsche Bahn employees had stopped working for a few days at irregular intervals over a period of several months.

In the middle of the Corona crisis, travelers could stand packed with suitcases close to the train tracks.

When does the strike start and how long does it last?

It is still completely unclear when the strike will start exactly. Wednesday morning is traded as a possible start. Surprisingly, it could also be held on the weekends in mid-August.

In extreme cases, the GDL will stop working as early as Tuesday lunchtime. That would also have the character of a warning strike. “Our GDL local groups have already set up their local strike lines,” it says in a message to the GDL members in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is available to FOCUS Online.

No information is available about the intended duration of the first wave of strikes. Initially, the strike could last a day. The GDL wants to announce concrete plans by Tuesday at the latest. As a reminder, in May 2015 the union even went out of work for six consecutive days. It was the longest strike so far in the collective bargaining dispute at the time.

What do travelers need to know now?

Travelers should keep an eye on the news, look for alternatives and possibly reschedule trips.

Anyone traveling by train to another city during the strike should check whether they can rebook to a flight or a rental car. Caution! Prices could rise massively between the strike days.

If you are traveling privately, you should consider: The less you have to change on a route, the lower the risk that you will end up in unknown cities and possibly even have to spend the night there.

Travelers should also check the news, pay attention to announcements on the platform and in the trains and also note the hotline 0800 09 96 633. Because trains could unexpectedly fail on the day of the strike, travelers should definitely check alternatives such as Flixtrain, Flixbus, Eurolines, IC Bus, Uber, MyTaxi and other private providers.

In the past, Deutsche Bahn organized long-distance buses or shared taxis to replace trains. That could repeat itself now.

Basically, the railway is responsible for strike-related failures. If a train is canceled or a delay of more than 20 minutes is to be expected, travelers can take a different – and more expensive – train route.

  • Example: Anyone who originally booked a trip with the IC or EC can then switch to the ICE in the event of a delay of more than 20 minutes or a strike-related cancellation.

First rail strike expected during Corona – that’s important now!

It could get busier than usual in the corridors and on the platforms. Travelers should definitely bear that in mind.

If possible, keep your distance and wear an FFP2 mask. Take several masks with you on longer train journeys, which you can exchange at regular intervals. It is also helpful to have disinfectant with you if you want to go to the train toilets, for example.

If you have to go to the hotel, you should know: In Bavaria, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein, unvaccinated hotel guests need a negative antigen rapid test on arrival. In North Rhine-Westphalia, this applies to districts with a 7-day incidence of 10 or more.

If you are traveling with children, it would be advisable to either completely cancel the trip on the day of the strike, to switch to other means of transport or to change the trip completely.

In the video: