After the train accident in Bavaria, Deutsche Bahn had to replace sleepers nationwide – this slowed down travelers in many places.
The train accident in Garmisch-Partenkirchen entails expensive repairs on the German rail network – and many restrictions on ongoing operations. Deutsche Bahn announced on Friday that its testing of around 200,000 sleepers of a certain type nationwide was coming to an end. With significant consequences: there are already restrictions in 165 places on the internet. The trains run slower there, are diverted – or replaced with buses due to closures. Freight traffic also suffers.
Travelers on regional routes in southern Bavaria have to be particularly patient. Trains are sometimes slowed down there to 70 kilometers per hour, sometimes 40 kilometers – in extreme cases only ten kilometers per hour, the “Münchner Merkur” recently reported. In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia there are also many such slow-moving sections. The Rhine-Main area is moderately affected: specifically in Hanau, the Frankfurt – Aschaffenburg and Hanau – Friedberg routes.
In the accident in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, a regional train with double-decker cars derailed in early June. Four women and a 13-year-old died. The cause of the accident has not yet been conclusively determined. The first reports focused on irregularities in the concrete sleepers used there, as the railway explained. A report by the Federal Ministry of Transport had previously spoken of “horizontal breaks”. This would cause the rails to lose their footing.
According to information from the Berlin “Tagesspiegel”, up until four weeks ago, ICE trains with a speed of 200 km/h were still driving in Brandenburg over sleepers of this type between Berlin and Halle. The exchange there has now been completed. Elsewhere, the work will take time.
The railway wants to have renovated important routes by the end of December. At the same time, the company warns that the conversion here and there could drag on into the coming year. At least it was possible to obtain sufficient replacement sleepers despite the generally scarce materials.
Even if the costs cannot yet be specifically quantified, one thing is already clear: they are considerable. Deutsche Bahn speaks of a “three-digit million amount”. The rail company is now legally examining whether it can hold the manufacturer of the defective sleepers liable.