For the second time in as many months, there is chaos on Berlin’s railway network, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.
Three quarters of regional S-Bahn trains have been taken out of service because of a problem with the braking systems. One passenger waiting for a train said: “This circus happens when you want to go to work. You are waiting for a train and can’t get in. No one gives out any information.” At the start of the summer, two thirds of the trains were taken off the tracks for safety checks after an accident, causing chaos rarely seen in the history of the S-Bahn, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn. Passenger groups blame job cuts in the maintenance workshops. Jens Wiesecke from a Berlin passenger group said: “They have put pressure on the whole company without renewing facilities. This is what is coming back to bite the S-Bahn now. It is not a black Tuesday for the S-Bahn, it is a black summer, and Deutsche Bahn is responsible.” In June, the managers in charge of the S-Bahn lost their jobs, accused of incompetence, but that has not prevented a summer of delays and cuts in services.