Deutsche Bahn will again keep basic services running during GDL strike


Deutsche Bahn will again keep basic services running during GDL strike

20. August 2021, 11:30 o'Clock

Article: Deutsche Bahn will again keep basic services running during GDL strike

Germany-wide long-distance capacity of roughly 25% from 23 August • Restricted operations in local transport • Timetable available on and in DB Navigator from 3:00 pm on Friday • DB to apply wide-ranging goodwill arrangements again: flexible usage of tickets starts today • Free strike hotline • DB Cargo to ensure transport of essential goods

Deutsche Bahn will once again keep basic services running across Germany when the GDL train drivers' union goes on a second strike, announced for 23-24 August. DB will operate a basic level of long-distance connections that equals roughly 25% of normal capacities. DB is aiming to keep about 40% of regional and S-Bahn trains running this time around as well. However, the number of trains in operation will vary considerably between regions.

After the first strike, DB Cargo worked in record time to resolve the backlog of freight trains at its marshalling yards. This means the freight company now has the capacities to keep trains running over the next few days. It will cooperate with external rail operators to ensure that trains transporting essential goods can be dispatched quickly to meet customers' orders.

DB has drawn on the experience of the first strike to optimise its replacement timetable for long-distance services so that it can operate more trains when GDL resumes its industrial action. Long-distance routes will be served by some 20 additional trains a day, for connections such as Berlin – Bavaria, and trains running between Hamburg/Berlin, Frankfurt Airport and Stuttgart.

DB's objective is to ensure that passengers can make reliable plans for their journeys. It has prioritised very busy routes and connections to major stations and airports. The company again intends to run trains every two hours on selected key corridors. Nevertheless, DB advises people to reschedule travel to before or after the strike if this is possible. Despite creating an alternative timetable, DB cannot guarantee that all travellers will reach their destinations as planned. Anyone who is unable to reschedule a trip should make sure to reserve a seat.

DB expects rail services to return to normal for the most part as of 25 August.

Wide-ranging goodwill arrangements in place again

Passengers can start using their tickets flexibly today, and this option will be in place for a period of ten days after the strike ends. DB is extending the validity of tickets for long-distance services affected by the GDL strike on 23-24 August: these tickets can now be used flexibly from 20 August up to and including 4 September. Passengers with saver and super saver fares are not restricted to using the trains specified on their tickets. They can instead make their journeys using other trains, including local services (RE, RB, IRE and S-Bahn). In addition, travellers can apply to have their tickets refunded free of charge.

Passengers can transport bicycles on long-distance trains only if they have reserved a bicycle space on board. Any long-distance passenger who has a bicycle space booking for a train that is cancelled can use DB's offer to ship their bicycle free of charge via the company's luggage service.

Further information is available at

Work is currently underway to identify which trains will run and which services will be cancelled. Details will be added successively to DB's timetables and information channels. The replacement timetable for long-distance connections will be available in the timetable information feature on and in the DB Navigator app from 3:00 pm on Friday. Information will also be available from the free strike hotline at 08000 99 66 33 (within Germany), which will also open at 3:00 pm today.