The two railway unions GDL and EVG criticize the conditions at Deutsche Bahn. “I’ve never experienced such chaos as in the summer of 2022 at Deutsche Bahn, it’s the absolute worst-case scenario,” said the head of the GDL engine driver’s union, Claus Weselsky, WELT AM SONNTAG. “It’s burned into people’s minds that the railway system is in a catastrophic state. That’s fatal.”

The state of the state-owned company was “catastrophic due to years of broken savings”. The GDL boss spoke out in favor of far-reaching reforms. “There is so much trouble, there is a lack of expertise everywhere that the railway system has to be completely redesigned,” said Weselsky. Although the group does not necessarily have to be split into two companies, Weselsky demands that there be a clear separation within the group between network and operations. “There can be no more business as usual because that’s what led to this juice shop.”

The railway and transport union (EVG) also does not consider the current situation to be sustainable. “I have never experienced such conditions as this summer,” said EVG Vice President Martin Burkert WELT AM SONNTAG. “I saw people literally fall off the train on a train from Rostock to Hamburg when the doors opened.”

The onslaught of passengers on local transport is causing massive signs of wear and tear. “We see damage from the heavy use of the 9-euro ticket very early on: elevators are broken, toilets on trains no longer work, everything is simply put under a lot of strain,” said Burkert. “Many colleagues are already at their breaking point because it is the employees who somehow keep the shop running,” says the EVG Vice President. “But the sickness rates are high and increasing, we notice: The 9-euro ticket makes you sick.”