NASA agrees basic train timetable with railway companies
The state of Saxony-Anhalt and railway companies are switching to crisis mode. The objective is to implement a basic train timetable which is as stable as possible, operating a reduced, yet reliable, service.
"The Corona pandemic and its associated consequences are also having an enormous impact on regional rail passenger transport in Saxony-Anhalt. Companies are having to deal with extensive absences due to illness and we are anticipating further setbacks. At the same time, we need to provide a reliable basic public transport service to enable those members of society who are essential to overcoming this crisis to travel to and from work", explained Minister for Transport, Thomas Webel, in Magdeburg earlier today.
NASA has, therefore, made arrangements specifically with the two largest rail companies operating in the state, DB Regio and Abellio Rail Mitteldeutschland, and agreed the following:
- The rail service is to be reduced in accordance with a plan which will ensure the operation of a reliable basic service with the anticipated available personnel.
- This should prevent short-notice and unexpected cancellations.
- As far as possible, rail services shall continue to operate on all routes; a full or partial replacement bus service is planned in a small number of cases only.
- In general, the current service intervals will be extended (every hour rather than every half hour, every two hours rather than every hour).
The changes will come into force on 1st April; some measures will be implemented as early as 23rd March.
Panitz explained: "These are considerable cutbacks. However, in light of the increasing numbers of infections, we have to anticipate an even more severe shortage of staff. As a result, we are now putting together a pared-down but manageable service - at least insofar as can be assessed at this point."
The specific changes to services are listed in the annex, and they will be released in parallel by DB Regio and Abellio.
The reduced services shall apply until further notice and will be adjusted according to the development of the crisis. The current schedule and an overview of the impacts of the Corona virus on regional public transport are available online at www.insa.de