Bahn talks about expected high passenger volume to tourist destinations

The wave of Pentecost travel and the nine-euro ticket have resulted in sometimes overloaded regional trains and delays. “As expected, there have been and are regional peaks in passenger volume, especially to tourist destinations,” a Deutsche Bahn spokesman said Monday. He did not name specific routes.

Travelers had reported in particular towards the Baltic and the North Sea partly completely overloaded trains, some passengers having had to get off. Bikes often could not be taken away. “It is still too early for a detailed assessment,” said the spokesman for the railways. At the supra-regional level, the operation has been generally stable, he said.

For Whit Monday, the railway again expected a bigger rush due to the first round trips. He again recommended that passengers inquire with local transport associations or via the DB Navigator shortly before commencing their journey.

From the early hours of noon, Deutsche Bahn increasingly said on Twitter: “Due to the exceptionally high passenger volume, transporting and picking up bicycles is no longer possible. Please choose another connection.” This applies, for example, to the regional express between Berlin and Rostock via Stralsund or the RE1 between Magdeburg and Cottbus via Berlin.

With the nine-euro ticket, passengers have been able to use local transport throughout Germany for a month since last Wednesday. Tickets are on sale for the months of June, July and August. This is intended to support commuters due to the sharp rise in energy costs. For climate protection, the objective is to convince new users to switch to rail in the long term. According to the Association of German Transport Companies, around seven million tickets had been sold as of Tuesday.

The travel association Pro Bahn is confirmed in its criticism after the first endurance test of the nine-euro ticket over the Whitsun weekend. “During peak periods, the demand on the main routes was so high that the trains could not leave. And some railway companies – like Metronom in northern Germany – excluded bicycle transport because they did not couldn’t cope with the rush,” Karl-Peter Naumann of the Pro Bahn passenger association told the German Press Agency on Monday.

He said the chaos was predictable and the result of a political bid without having the rail capacity to do so.

“Not everything that is well intentioned is done so well,” Naumann said. What was nice about the €9 ticket, he said, was that it brought local public transport back into the conversation. “But it only works if the capabilities are there,” Naumann pointed out.

Pentecost was seen as the first litmus test for the surrender campaign. With the ticket, one can use local transport throughout the country for a month at a time; the ticket is available for the months of June, July and August. It is intended to support commuters, for example, but also to convince new users to make a permanent switch to rail.

Naumann expects further problems in the coming summer months. He advised rail travelers not to travel on weekends if possible, but to switch to midweek days and reconsider their destination. “Does it necessarily have to be Sylt, Warnemünde or Lake Tegern – or are there not other beautiful regions with lower demand?” Naumann said.

Image by Jan Vasek