Status: 20/09/2023, 16:21 p.m.
By: Dirk Walter
Crowded confinement in an S-Bahn. Sometimes a set is missing. © Ralf Kruse
There are plenty of problems in rail traffic from Munich to Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau. The trains are too late, too short and too crowded. The Greens are urging the ministry to crack down. "The current penalties have no effect."
Munich/Freising – The lists read like an oath of revelation: On hundreds of pages, the Bavarian Ministry of Transport has written down in detail which trains were too short on which days for four regional train connections as well as for the S1. The list of deficiencies for the S68 alone fills 1 pages. 3200 trains are listed as too short. Some days were according to the lineup, which ranges from October 2022 to June 2023. every move too short.
The list always shows target and actual strength, with an S-Bahn set consisting of four wagons. According to the list, instead of twelve wagons, there were often only eight wagons on the road, or instead of eight only four – so there is always a set missing. There is a similar picture for the RE2, the Alex from Munich to Regensburg or Schwandorf. The list here fills 111 pages, there are thousands of train connections. Sometimes the train has only three instead of seven carriages, sometimes six instead of nine – that's how it runs over pages. In the case of the RE50 Munich–Nuremberg (via Regensburg), the list of deficiencies comprises 73 pages, and in the case of the RE3 Munich-Passau, 59 pages. Double-decker wagons are often missing, which are "not available as planned due to high levels of damage and various malfunctions", as the ministry admits. But there is also a problem on the RE3 line – multiple units are used there. Sometimes a train is missing.
Apparently, it doesn't really bother the Ministry of Transport
Green Party MP Johannes Becher refers to the transport implementation contract between DB Regio and the Free State. Accordingly, 15 percent of replacement wagons must actually be kept available. Apparently, significantly more than 15 percent of the wagons are defective for months, Becher concludes, otherwise the trains that are too short would not be explainable. "And apparently it doesn't really bother the Department of Transportation."
Multiple units from the Augsburg network
Relaxation, at least on the route to Passau, was supposed to bring a change of operator on the Augsburg route network. There, Deutsche Bahn lost the contract for the Fugger Express to Go-Ahead at the end of 2022 – the ET 440 series trains used there could strengthen the Danube-Isar Express. But this was not the case, the Ministry of Transport reports in response to a request about "only a minor improvement". "On the one hand, this is due to high employee turnover and year-round high sick leave in the Pasing workshop," the Bavarian Railway Company (BEG) reported to Becher's office back in December 2022. Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter's (CSU) response also mentions a difficult supply of spare parts as a result of the Corona pandemic and the Ukraine war, as well as a shortage of skilled workers.
Actually, the railway, as well as the state railway, the operator of the Alex, has to pay a fine for trains that are too short, the so-called penalty. But this apparently has no effect. However, BEG assured Becher that a new transport contract "Danube - Isar" would come into force from the 2025 timetable year, in which "a stricter penalization of deviations from the regular train formation is provided".
Good news can also be found in the state parliament request: From December 2024, the last train of the RB33 Munich-Landshut is scheduled to run at 1 a.m. on weekends. At the moment, the last train leaves at 0.04 a.m. – so night owls from Moosburg, for example, have to go home early.