Status: 04.12.2023, 10:36 a.m.
By: Klaus-Maria More
The stormy snowfalls have been over since Saturday night. But public transport in Munich is still in chaos. This could be due to savings in winter road maintenance.
Munich – After all, the S-Bahn runs every 20 minutes, as long as the route does not extend into the open countryside. The subway is also running – still with cancellations and plenty of delays. There is also good news about the good old bus service. Most of the lines are to be used here, but the MVG also warns of delays and cancellations due to icy or snow-covered roads.
Still snowed in: Munich tram in the depot. © Marcus Schlaf
Snow chaos on public transport in Munich: Tram continues to stand still at a standstill – Why?
Where there is still contemplative, pre-Christmas silence is in the tram traffic. Nothing works. Many Munich residents are surprised. How can the tram, which is so important for Munich's public transport system, still stand still at a standstill 36 hours after the last snowflake has fallen? An inquiry to the press office of the MVG this morning is still pending. We are waiting for a callback.
Passenger association with harsh criticism: Old railways unnecessarily abolished
Meanwhile, the Pro Bahn passenger association has a clear idea of the MVG's misplanning in recent years that has led to today's traffic chaos. The MVG had unnecessarily mothballed old high-floor trams. They used to drive through the night to avoid a freeze of the infrastructure.
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A high-floor tram is a type of tram whose car body is at a higher level than the rails on which it runs. Unlike the low-floor tram, where the entrance height is lower and often no steps are needed, the high-floor tram usually requires steps or ramps to get into the vehicles. For this reason, the lower railways have replaced the old high-floor trams bit by bit. However, the older models could also drive in snow.
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According to Andreas Barth of Pro Bahn, this has now put the city in a precarious situation. "The fact that only one high-floor vehicle is still operational, the catenary control vehicle, is annoying enough. We would also like to thank the Friends of the Munich Tramway Museum in particular, as they carried out the last general inspection on a voluntary basis."
Snow chaos on the tram pre-programmed: "Snow ploughs sold or scrapped!"
And the criticism goes even further. "The snow ploughs in front of trams that used to be common have been sold or scrapped, and the replacement concepts with Unimog have not led to any cleared tracks." Pro Bahn demands: "At least in the case of the more robust high-floor wagons that still exist, the necessary repairs must be carried out immediately so that they can be used again for winter service."
The tram is a key element and central pillar of Munich's transport turnaround and also runs much more effectively than any subway. Barth: "That's why we also have to invest in a good winter service for trams. This means that the benefit per euro for a tram is still much better than for the subway. This means that the investment is well spent, even if it rarely snows that much." Climate change will continue to favor extreme weather events. This also includes heavy snowfalls in a short period of time. "The city is not prepared for this."
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