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How will travellers in Austria be hit by Germany's mass transport strike?

The Local Austria
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How will travellers in Austria be hit by Germany's mass transport strike?
A man steps out a Deutsche Bahn's ICE L train with a step-free entry and exit, during a press event in Berlin, on September 14, 2022. (Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)

Germany's rail and airline strike will have a noticeable impact in Austria on Friday and Saturday. Here's what you need to know.

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Germany's Deutsche Bahn and Transdev announced a strike from 3 am to 11 am affecting multiple connections with Austrian operator ÖBB. Additionally, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne, and Stuttgart airports are also affected by strikes. Passengers who may be affected are advised to obtain information individually from their airline companies.

ÖBB has announced that the restrictions for Austrian rail customers had already begun, with the night trains departing on Thursday evening. 

From the night of April 20 to April 21, night train connections to and from Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are already affected. Therefore, passengers are advised to check their planned connections in the ÖBB timetable information Scotty, the ÖBB App or by calling ÖBB Customer Service at 05-1717-0. 

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All train connections via the Deutsche Eck are also affected, with local trains from, to and via Germany changing itineraries - with shorter trips. 

In Salzburg, the trains of the S3 line in the direction of Freilassing start and end in Salzburg Liefering, while the trains of the S2 line start and end in Salzburg Hbf. Local trains in the direction of Passau only run to/from Schärding in Upper Austria, while local trains in the direction of Simbach/Inn start and end in Braunau am Inn. 

In Vorarlberg, the trains in the direction of Lindau-Reutin will end in Lochau-Hörbranz, and in Tyrol, local services in the direction of Mittenwald will only run to/from Scharnitz. Some of the short-haul connections may be provided with rail replacement buses, according to an ÖBB statement.

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Changes to many long-distance connections and flights

The strike will affect rail and long-distance traffic during the strike period and the following hours. Railjet trains with destinations Innsbruck, Bregenz, Zurich, and Bolzano, due to scheduled construction work at the Deutsche Eck region between Salzburg and Kufstein, will operate all day in rail replacement service with buses. 

RJX trains to and from Munich will begin and end at Salzburg Hbf, and IC and ICE trains to and from Passau will be shortened to Schärding.

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Long-distance trains from Austria and Switzerland via Lindau-Reutin will start and end in St. Margrethen, those via the Tauern/Ennstal route will start and end in Salzburg Hbf, and long-distance trains via the Brenner route will start and end in Kufstein or Innsbruck. 

Due to the warning strike, Deutsche Bahn has announced that long-distance services will be suspended until 1 pm. However, disruptions could continue into the evening, and local and regional services are also expected to come to a standstill on Friday morning. But operations are expected to resume more quickly after the end of the warning strike.

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The Verdi trade union has also called for strikes at several airports in Germany, including Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Stuttgart. As a result, many flights between Austria and Germany will be cancelled. 

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The Verdi trade union demands employers increase time bonuses for night, Saturday, Sunday, and public holiday work and improve overtime pay. Collective bargaining negotiations on April 11th and 12th did not result in an agreement, and the next round of talks is scheduled for April 27th and 28th.

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