Prague – Berlin EC faces complications as DB staff refuse to take over the CD train

A Taurus locomotive in CD livery. Credit: Ceske drahyA Taurus locomotive in CD livery. Credit: Ceske drahy

Deploying new ComfortJet trains should improve the situation.

For the third time in two months, a Deutsche Bahn crew refused to take over a train from Czech Railways (CD) on Tuesday, which the carrier had dispatched as part of the Prague – Berlin (– Hamburg – Kiel) international service. Passengers were left stranded in Decin, having to rely on other connections. The situation points to a longer-term problem on this route.

Deutsche Bahn may refuse to take over a train if it does not match the planned train composition. Complications arise the day after the refusal, too; the train is then canceled from Germany. The first refusal occurred on June 19, when DB did not take over an EC 172 train arriving from Hungary where the carriages belonged to MAV-Start. The other two occurences (August 5 and 16) were with Czech Railways trains.

Failure to observe train composition, overcrowding

Czech Railways regularly encounters car breakdowns on the route; in the past, the newly modernized Pars nova (now Skoda Pars) cars had to be accompanied to Germany by technicians who dealt with failures on the go.

Czech Railways have long been failing to stick to the planned train composition. The Prague – Kiel train, which is supposed to include two first-class cars, has not been dispatched in the given composition this year at all.

The trains tend to be so crowded that Deutsche Bahn sometimes has to stop them and drop some people off so that staff can walk down the aisles. CD has no other suitable cars. In the future, the existing trains are to be replaced by ComfortJet trains. Their production is underway and they are due to run from 2024.


Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.

Tagy České dráhy ComfortJet Deutsche Bahn EC Berliner Prague - Berlin route
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