Deutsche Bahn cut Munich to Zurich trains after frequent delays
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has been cutting rail services from Zurich to Munich from its timetable due to excessive delays. This is the second time in recent months that public transport in Switzerland has been impacted because of delays with the German public transport provider, in November services were cut between Germany and the alpine city of Chur.
Deutsche Bahn cancels Zurich to Munich connection
According to the Swiss newspaper Watson, DB has removed the possibility to book long-distance trains from Zurich to Munich through its services online. Travellers from Germany are now only able to book services from Munich to Zurich central station and stations before St.Gallen in Switzerland.
The rail service, called the Eurocity 98, was designed to compete with air and bus routes between Zurich and Munich - currently, 14 bus services and six flights go between the Swiss and German cities every day. Since the German section of the line was electrified in December 2021, travel times on the train have fallen from four to three and a half hours, meaning the service could start to compete with air travel in terms of speed.
Majority of trains between Zurich and Munich delayed
In Germany, DB trains are infamous for the their delays, but in recent weeks the delays between Munich and Zurich have been consistent enough to warrant a cut, according to the German company. On December 19, for example, the train only made it as far as Winterthur, in northern Switzerland, before being cancelled, with all other DB services on the route being between 25 and 35 minutes delayed between December 19 and December 21. With the train being so unreliable, DB has taken the unusual step of removing the trains from online booking platforms in an effort to stabilise the service.
Speaking to Watson, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) spokesperson Sabrina Schellenberg explained that a number of issues plague the route, including infrastructure issues in Germany, long sections of single-track and errors in the train’s tilting system. What’s more, if the trains do not reach St. Gallen on time, they will get stuck behind slower Interregional services, meaning most trains were arriving 30 minutes late in Zurich, if they arrived at all.
Schellenberg said that two-thirds of Zurich to Munich trains were delayed at the start of 2022, and that the situation has "neither significantly improved nor worsened" since. She explained that the removal of the trains from the online timetable was part of a series of “control measures” designed to curb demand and reduce delays.
This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Switzerland.
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