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Trains in Germany Screech to a Halt During Football Championship - Report

© AP Photo / Michael ProbstA railway worker walks along a parked train outside the central train station in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, March 11, 2024
A railway worker walks along a parked train outside the central train station in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, March 11, 2024 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.06.2024
Felix Dachsel, a columnist for Der Spiegel, felt the need to make a joking apology for the state of the rail service in Germany, suggesting that competing teams can “beat Germany” but will “lose to Deutsche Bahn”, the report said.
A recent report by The New York Times highlighted what has become an exacerbated issue with Germany’s train system. The country has long prided itself on punctuality and efficiency, but in recent years the “failure to invest in rolling stock, upgrade railways and digitalize signal boxes have made Deutsche Bahn notorious for delays and cancellations,” the report writes.
Deutsche Bahn was made private in 1994 and united the railways of East and West Germany. But since then critics have blamed a lack of investment in the system by the German government.
The report notes that prior to the UEFA European Football Championship, which began on June 14, Germany’s rail networks have been struggling to keep up with their historic credibility. At one point, staff members from the Munich transport authority had to reportedly be dispatched to aid travelers who had become overheated after being stuck for hours on stalled trains.
A police car passes the central railway station in Cologne, Germany. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2023
Railway Strike Cripples Germany's Train Service
In the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen, fans from England decided to take on a three-mile walk to the city’s stadium after experiencing delays with Germany’s tram system. Hungarian fans in Stuttgart were also unpleasantly surprised to find that a major renovation project begun nearly a decade and a half ago had left the train station replaced with nothing but a hole.
The major construction project- which involves rerouting rail lines around Stuttgart - will take at least another year to be completed, sources at Deutsche Bahn told the news magazine Spiegel, meaning its completion date will be December 2026.
The project, dubbed Stuttgart 21, is controversial not only because of the major disruption caused by it, but also due to its heavy price tag. Deutsche Bahn, which is state-owned, estimates the total expense to be about $11.8 billion - about $7 billion more than initially planned.
And while Germany’s rail network may cover over 20,000 miles, about half that length of track has been ripped apart in the last 70 years creating routes that are unable to meet demand. The report found that only 63% of the system’s trains reached their destination on time last month, citing Deutsche Bahn, which falls short of Germany’s neighbors Austria: 94% punctuality, and France: 87%.
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