A long Pentecost weekend, relaxation, lots of sun. The good thing: nationwide, Germans took a little short vacation, let their souls dangle, celebrated, and enjoyed the days off to the fullest. The problem: On Whit Monday, most people head back home. For many with the 9-euro ticket – and unfortunately also to the fullest!
Many families and friends used the weekend for a short vacation to the coast or a city trip. Now it’s back home with packed suitcases – for many by train.
Is the train chaos coming after the relaxation weekend? Read here where you won’t get any app information, overcrowded platforms and trains are a threat and where your trip will end in a dead end.
After the fatal train accident, the route is still closed
▶︎ After the train disaster in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with five dead (BILD reported), the rescue and investigative work will continue on Whit Monday. As reported by Deutsche Bahn, a rail crane supplied by DB Netz AG from Wanne-Eickel (NRW) will be used in addition to the road cranes. The crane has a lifting capacity of 250 tons and is to rail the control car of the accident train.
As in the past few days, the three road cranes are in the process of lifting the derailed wagons, which are then to be cut up and transported away.
The train derailed on Friday afternoon – five people died and more than 40 were injured. Investigations into the causes of the accident are still ongoing. According to a statement by Deutsche Bahn, “The complete assessment of the damage that has occurred on the route and its repair will only be possible after the salvage work has been completed. It is therefore not yet possible to predict when the route can be reopened.”
Commuters and travelers who were traveling on this route will therefore have to reschedule. Trains from Munich Hbf turn around in Oberau. From Mittenwald the trains turn in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The train has set up a replacement service with buses between Oberau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Timetable error in Bavaria
︎ In addition to the crowds of people on the tracks at Whitsun weekend, the technology in Bavaria did not play along either. The trains of the regional railway BRB were not displayed either in the DB app or on www.bahn.de. Curious: The trains were represented on the boards at the station, but not in the timetable information.
On its website, the Bayerische Regionalbahn (BRB) apologized for the chaos, writing: “Dear BRB passengers, from 5.6. until 17.6. Due to an interface problem, no BRB train connections (…) are included on www.bahn.de.” This problem affects the routes “Munich – Rosenheim – Salzburg / Kufstein” and “Munich – Holzkirchen – Rosenheim”.
Only on June 13 will it be possible to correct the erroneous plan.
Tip: The web app “Marudor“ shows real-time data about train departures in a clear list.
Big departure chaos on Sylt?
After probably the most unusual weekend in a long time, the islanders on Sylt can finally breathe a sigh of relief: the islanders survived the rush after the 9-euro ticket stress!
With the 9-euro ticket, tourists came at the weekend who otherwise never stay on Sylt: punks en masse. Even before the 9-euro ticket was launched, calls from left-wing groups to “board” the island were circulating on social media. This was immediately noticeable at the railways. Regional trains were already 130 percent full at the start of the weekend, bicycles can no longer be taken and a ride cannot be guaranteed.
But contrary to all fears, the situation on the North Sea island of Sylt remained calm on Monday night. According to the police, there were only seven operations on Monday night and nine on Sunday.
But is there now a big departure chaos on Sylt? That is very likely!
After the first endurance test for the 9-euro ticket, the passenger association “Pro Bahn” sees its criticism confirmed. “During peak travel times, demand on the main routes was so high that trains could not depart. And some railway companies – such as Metronom in northern Germany – have excluded bicycle transport because they couldn’t handle the rush,” said Karl-Peter Naumann from the Pro Bahn passenger association on Monday.
The chaos was foreseeable and the result of a political offer without having the necessary rail traffic capacities. “Not everything that is well intentioned is also well done,” said Naumann. The good thing about the 9-euro ticket is that it has brought local public transport back into the conversation. “But it only works if the capacities are there,” he emphasized.
He advised rail travelers, if possible, to switch to days in the middle of the week and to reconsider their destination. “Does it have to be Sylt, Warnemünde or Lake Tegernsee – or aren’t there other beautiful areas where demand is lower?” says Naumann.
“As expected, there were and are regional peaks in passenger numbers, especially to tourist destinations. Nationally, we are seeing stable rail operations overall. It is still too early for a detailed assessment,” said a railway spokesman when asked by BILD.
Full streets and trains in NRW
▶︎ A visit to the Cologne Cathedral, shopping in Düsseldorf or a trip to the Moviepark. There is a lot to see in NRW. The problem: Many had this thought on the Pentecost weekend – and set off.
As early as Saturday afternoon, the platforms at Cologne Central Station where a Regiobahn departed were full. Many travelers had shopping bags in their hands and had apparently come to Cologne to shop. Due to the full platforms, DB security temporarily blocked the access to the platform with warning tape.
The situation on Sunday in both Cologne and Düsseldorf main stations was much more relaxed: Although there was a lot of activity, there was no sign of chaos. That could change in the course of Monday: In addition to full motorways, it should be very crowded again on Whit Monday, especially in the regional trains in NRW. On excursions and trips, many people use the 9-euro ticket for a short trip on Saturday and Sunday.
“We recommend our passengers to find out more information shortly before starting their journey in the information media of the local transport associations or via the DB Navigator,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn on Sunday. In addition, Deutsche Bahn asked travelers not to take bicycles on the trains if they were not absolutely necessary. Because: Even without wheels, most wagons are already overloaded, if not overloaded.
The result: long waiting times and delayed departures and arrivals.
Pentecost was the first endurance test for the discount campaign. A first indicator of what awaits us in the coming months. Because the ticket is valid for June, July and August – and will certainly bring further problems for railways and politics during the holiday season.
And on the freeways?
The return traffic should also be noticeable on the motorways – risk of traffic jams, especially in the afternoon! Full secondary routes are also expected for Monday, as many day trippers are likely to be on the road.
The car clubs are expecting traffic jams and delays, especially in the metropolitan areas of Hamburg, Berlin, Rhine-Ruhr, Rhine-Main, Stuttgart, Munich, on the routes to the coasts and on the following routes in both directions:
A 1 Cologne – Dortmund – Bremen – Hamburg – Lübeck
A 1 /A 3 / A 4 Cologne Ring
A 2 Berlin – Hanover – Dortmund
A 3 Oberhausen – Cologne – Frankfurt/Main – Würzburg – Nuremberg – Passau
A 4 Kirchheim triangle – Erfurt – Dresden
A 5 Hattenbacher Dreieck – Darmstadt – Karlsruhe – Basel
A 6 Kaiserslautern – Mannheim – Heilbronn – Nürnberg
A 7 Flensburg – Hamburg – Hanover – Kassel – Würzburg -Ulm – Füssen/Reutte
A 8 Karlsruhe – Stuttgart – Munich – Salzburg
A 9 Berlin – Nuremberg – Munich
A 10 Berliner Ring
A 11 Berliner Ring – Uckermark triangle
A 19 Dreieck Wittstock – Rostock
A 24 Berlin – Dreieck Wittstock
A 45 Olpe-Hagen
A 61 Mönchengladbach – Koblenz – Ludwigshafen
A 81 Würzburg – Heilbronn – Stuttgart – Singing
A 93 Rosenheim-Kiefersfelden
A 95/B2 Munich – Garmisch-Partenkirchen
A 96 Kreuz Memmingen
A 99 Bypass Munich
According to ACE, the situation on the roads in Austria and Switzerland should be “one to one” like in Germany. Excursion traffic also plays a major role on the branch lines on Monday.
According to the ADAC, the Tauern, Inntal, Brenner, Rheintal and Gotthard routes are particularly at risk of congestion.
For Switzerland, the ACE anticipates longer traffic jams on the main travel days on the Gotthard route in front of the north portal of the Gotthard tunnel. If the waiting time is longer than an hour, the alternative route via the San Bernardino tunnel is worthwhile.
Anyone planning an Alpine road tour should be aware that some passes are currently still closed. The last passes will be released in June. Random checks cannot be ruled out for border traffic. However, due to the easing of entry regulations in many countries, things are progressing much faster than they were a few weeks ago, according to the ADAC.
How long you currently have to wait when returning from Austria to Germany can be seen online at the Austrian infrastructure company Asfinag.