In Germany, a train drivers’ strike began on Thursday evening and will end on Friday at 10:00 p.m. Achim Stauss, the spokesman for the railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced at a press conference that the company will run roughly a fifth of long-distance connections during the strike. Among other things, some connections with the Czech Republic will be crippled. The protest was announced by the German Train Drivers Union (GDL), which wants to force the railways to increase wages.
Freight train drivers started the strike at 18:00 and will be joined by colleagues from passenger transport at 22:00. At the same time, freight transport has not yet fully recovered from the problems in Bavaria, where the snowfall had already stopped hundreds of trains in the previous days. The railways said in advance that the restart of freight trains would last at least over the weekend.
Czech Railways (ČD) advised not to travel to Germany by train during the strike. EuroCity services will run only on the Prague-Dresden section, or Prague-Děčín and back. Cheb-Nuremberg express trains will not run in regional transport. Smaller restrictions had to be reckoned with for some connections already in the afternoon in the direction to Germany, and the same applies to Saturday morning for the direction from Germany. The railways also canceled most of the night train route from Prague to Zurich for Thursday, the connection will end in Děčín.
According to GDL’s statement, the current strike will be the last one this year, the train drivers do not want to strike over Christmas and in the first week of January. The head of the union, Claus Weselsky, warned in advance that the next strikes in the new year will be significantly longer and more intense.