Düsseldorf – The severe weather disaster in Germany also caused serious damage to the railways. Travelers and commuters will have to be prepared for restrictions in the next few days.
According to an initial picture of the situation, there was “massive damage” in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate at 80 stations and stops as well as on tracks over 600 kilometers in length, as Deutsche Bahn announced on Sunday in Düsseldorf.
Switches, signaling technology, signal boxes, bridges and vehicles were also damaged by water, mud and rubble. We are now working flat out to remove all damage.
2000 railway employees have been working in the affected regions since Wednesday. Water still has to run off in many places and then mud and debris removed. Trains have been running again on the left bank of the Rhine between Bonn and Koblenz since Sunday.
Local traffic with S-Bahn and regional trains remains “severely impaired” in North Rhine-Westphalia and parts of Rhineland-Palatinate, according to the message with a view of the Ahr Valley, the Eifel, the Siegerland and the area around Hagen. At the start of the week, commuters would still face “significant restrictions”, in NRW 30 lines would be completely or partially canceled or would be rerouted.
“Due to blocked routes, numerous S-Bahn and regional lines continue to run either not at all or only to a limited extent,” the statement said. There is replacement bus service – “if the road infrastructure is still intact in the crisis regions”.
The company reported progress in long-distance transport: the ICE is again running from Cologne to Brussels, Bonn is reconnected to long-distance transport, and travel from Berlin to Cologne and Düsseldorf is possible again. At the start of the new week, Deutsche Bahn expects “a further normalization of long-distance traffic for destinations in North Rhine-Westphalia”.
DB recommends that travelers contact www.bahn.de/aktuell or by calling the free hotline 08000 996633.