Standing trains, stranded travelers and desperate commuters: an overhead line damaged during construction work in Munich severely affected Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance and local transport on Thursday. The large-scale restrictions following the midday incident would continue into the night, a railway spokeswoman said in the late afternoon. However, the repair itself will certainly take longer. “It is not yet possible to say whether traffic will run smoothly again on Friday.”

At least it has now been possible to reroute individual trains via the Laim freight station. Nevertheless, trips to and from Munich are still strongly discouraged, the spokeswoman emphasized.

According to initial findings, an excavator during construction work for the second S-Bahn trunk line in the Munich-Laim area damaged a complete transverse structure that stretches the overhead lines over all tracks on the line. As a result, the important route between the main station and Munich-Pasing was closed. With a few exceptions, long-distance and regional transport as well as traffic on the main S-Bahn line in the state capital have been completely suspended. The Munich main station could not be reached.

“The DB expressly apologizes for the inconvenience caused to its passengers,” said Deutsche Bahn (DB). The breakdown during the construction work resulted in numerous train cancellations and delays, and other trains ended early or departed from other stations. As a result, many long-distance travelers were unable to start their journey in Munich or reach their destination.

Local transport throughout the region was also severely affected, as regional trains and the S-Bahn network were affected by failures and different routes. An exception were the BRB diesel trains to the Bavarian Oberland, which ran normally according to the electronic timetable. The S7, which only joins the main route after Laim – the central route of all S-Bahn lines through Munich city center – soon continued.

In the main station, trains stood still for an indefinite period on almost all tracks. Passengers crowded into the station hall. Within a very short time, a long queue formed in front of the travel center, and railway employees were surrounded by crowds of people. Those who could tried to reach their destination using other means of transport. There was a huge rush at the tram stops around the main train station, with people waiting arguing over free taxis.

After all, all passengers who had to postpone their planned trip due to the damage to the overhead line can use their ticket at a later date. “The train connection has been lifted,” the railway informed. The ticket is also valid with a changed route until the journey to the destination. Seat reservations could be canceled free of charge.

Hours after the incident, the railway also managed to ensure that at least the ICE trains Hamburg-Berlin-Nuremberg-Munich and Hamburg-Dortmund-Frankfurt-Stuttgart-Munich were able to run to Munich every two hours again. This meant that the state capital was reconnected to the long-distance transport network at least once an hour.

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