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How German train strike will disrupt cross-border travel in Switzerland

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How German train strike will disrupt cross-border travel in Switzerland
From tomorrow night, DB trains won't be going anywhere. Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

Train drivers in Germany have announced another strike from Wednesday morning until Friday evening. How will this industrial action affect Switzerland?

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The Swiss already have a problem with Germany’s trains: they claim delays on the German side often end up disrupting the carefully coordinated Swiss railway timetable.

Last year, for instance, eight of the 10 most frequently delayed trains in Switzerland started their journey in German cities. 

The Swiss Federal Office of Transport even went as far as to suggest that in the future, DB trains should stop at the border in Basel, where passengers will switch to a more reliable Swiss train.

Now Switzerland’s national railways (SBB) have another gripe with their neighbours: the strike planned by the German Train Drivers Union (GDL) will further disrupt cross-border traffic.

This will be the second such action in a span of two months: on November 16th, 2023, German train drivers already staged a 20-hour strike, affecting much of Deutsche Bahn's operations. 

What can you expect if you are planning to take a train to or from Germany?

From Wednesday January 10th at 2 am until January 12th at 6 pm, many cross-border connections between the two countries will be cancelled.

Night trains from January 9th to 11th will also affect SBB operations, spokesperson Martin Meier said.

However, "on the Swiss section of the route, the majority of the cancelled cross-border connections will be replaced,” he said, adding that substitute trains will circulate up to and from the Swiss side of the border.

Therefore, while those planning to travel to Germany will have to cancel their trip, "there will probably be no major impact on domestic train traffic".

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The SBB recommends postponing trips to or through Germany.

If you already have your tickets, DB will allow you to use them at a later date.

You can track (no pun intended) strike developments and disruptions here

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