Balance sheet after two storms: damage to railways greater than supposed

Status: 02/21/2022 04:01 AM

It looks especially bad on the ICE route between Hamburg and Hannover. But elsewhere, too, the damage is greater than expected. In NRW, Berlin and Brandenburg, rail traffic was again halted by a new storm.

Severe storms “Yenia” and “Zeinab” caused significant damage to the railway network in the past few days. Deutsche Bahn spokesman Achim Staus said: “The continuing series of storms has hit Deutsche Bahn more severely than we have seen in the meantime.”

“We have inflicted severe damage on the railways, which are about 6,000 kilometers long,” he added. This could have led to more reconnaissance flights and helicopter flights. “Currently, about 900 kilometers of our line network are impassable,” Stauß continued.

Restrictions until at least Monday noon

The train advised to postpone travel to and from Hamburg as much as possible. It added that there are no long-distance trains between Hamburg and Berlin, nor between Berlin / Hamburg and Rostock / Stralsund, and between Norddeutsche Mall / Emden and Cologne / Hanover. However, other avenues have been reopened. The further path is unpredictable – also due to the approach of another storm “Antonia”.

Weakness is expected until at least Monday noon. “We can currently drive nearly three-quarters of long-distance traffic in Germany, but the north and north-east are still severely affected and will be the same on Monday,” Stauss said. According to Bahn’s information, there are still many train cancellations in regional traffic.

The train advised passengers to call the toll-free hotline before boarding the plane 08000 99 66 33 to know. The period of the goodwill arrangement, which allows free cancellation or flexible use of tickets already purchased up to seven days after the disruption ends, has already been extended to tickets valid through Monday.

2000 emergency damage repair services in use

According to Bahn, there are about 2,000 emergency services operating around the clock to remove fallen trees and repair overhead lines. However, given the scale, this can only be done step by step. “Since the storm series, clearance teams have been working tirelessly to fix the roads,” Staus says. This work will be hindered by adverse weather conditions. “We are doing everything we can to repair the damage as quickly as possible,” he said.

“There is serious damage on the railway between Hanover and Hamburg. The storm hit there especially. Not only were the catenary masts of the railways damaged there, some were ripped from their mooring with their concrete foundations. We have to put them back together. The masts are there,” severely overcrowded.

Bahn stops regional traffic in NRW

Due to the new “Storm Antonia”, the railway line in North Rhine-Westphalia again stopped regional traffic on Sunday evening. Monday morning, S-Bahn and regional trains are supposed to run again, but roads must be checked for damage beforehand. Passengers must therefore be informed of their connections, according to the train.

The accelerator is gradually closing train services again

The railway also expects regional traffic to be affected in northern Baden, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland on Monday afternoon. In Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, train traffic will likely remain restricted until Monday afternoon. Because of the expected storm in parts of Bavaria and restrictions on train movement, some lessons in the Lower Franconian county of Miltenberg will be canceled on Monday. The Bavarian Ministry of Education announced that the background to this is that the West Franconia Railway will stop train services on the entire road network from Sunday evening to Monday morning.

There are also new restrictions in Lower Saxony: the railway company Metronom announced that from Sunday evening at 9 pm there will be no more trains from Metronom, Enno and Erixx on the way. The company mainly serves roads in Lower Saxony. Emergency bus service is expected to continue through Monday afternoon.

There is no regional traffic in Berlin at night

She added that railways in Berlin and Brandenburg will also completely stop regional traffic on Sunday evening. Here, too, the reason for the decline of Storm “Antonia”.

During the past few days, hurricanes “Yenia” and “Zeinab” had caused fatal accidents and severe damage. According to preliminary estimates, the two storms are likely to cost insurance companies more than 1.4 billion euros.

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