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Germany

Parliamentarians talk tough on rail operator Deutsche Bahn

German parliamentarians have demanded that national rail operator Deutsche Bahn take measures to be better prepared for next winter after travel chaos across the country in recent weeks.

A Deutsche Bahn train travels through snowy tracks

Deutsche Bahn services have been hampered this winter

German parliamentarians have called on national rail operator Deutsche Bahn to improve its services before next winter.

Transportation in Germany and around Europe has been severely disrupted this winter with heavy snowfall and icy conditions.

The chairman of the Bundestag's Transportation Committee, Winfried Hermann of the opposition Green Party, told the Berlin-based newspaper Tagesspiegel that Deutsche Bahn must utilize all its available trains traveling routes around Europe in order to cope with domestic demand in such circumstances.

He said this might mean Deutsche Bahn would have to put the brakes on its expansion aims, including plans for an intercity express to London from 2013.

Transportation spokesman Uwe Beckmeyer from the opposition Social Democrats called on the government to not to weaken support for Deutsche Bahn, which has struggled to maintain effective and regular services during particularly icy or snowy periods this winter.

"The company needs every cent to invest in better equipment," he told Tagesspiegel.

According to the Tagesspiegel, Deutsche Bahn came to the conclusion in October that it did not own enough trains to ensure regular services during "extraordinary circumstances."

Around nine percent of Deutsche Bahn's intercity express trains are currently unavailable for use due to frequent and long-term maintenance.

Author: Darren Mara (dpa, AFP)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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