The major rail route between Budapest and Munich via Austria has been closed until next month as rail bosses have been forced to take the most popular migration route out of service.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) placed a permanent suspension on its intercity services which take the crucial Hungary-Austria-Germany route until October 4th as Germany struggles to deal with the migrant crisis. Border controls were re-introduced two weeks ago, a measure which has placed immense strain on the tight timetables of the German rail network.
TheLocal.de reports the comments of a DB spokesman who said: “As a result of administrative measures (border controls) the long-distance routes of Deutsche Bahn will be suspended, initially until October 4th, 2015, between Munich-Salzburg (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary)”. The DB website, calling for patience and understanding from regular customers that because of the migrant crisis “the situation in many stations and some trains at this time tense”.
The intercity service has already been on ice since last week, but this announcement puts its suspension on a more permanent basis. A new, revised timetable with time for stops and passport checks is presently being formulated.
These changes come on top of the long-scheduled closure of Leipzig station for three days over the next week for major building works. The station is one of the largest in the world and a major central Europe railway interchange.
The extraordinary move to cancel a significant rail route is just part of a large programme of closures and cancellations which form part of the greatest disruption European travellers will have encountered in decades. Over the past month borders which had been flung open as part of the Schengen agreement fifteen years ago have been closed, as individual governments have acted unilaterally to protect themselves from the migrant crisis. As a result dozens of major motorways, railways, and ferry lines have been closed or disrupted as police have put traffic control and passport checks into operation.
The border crossing between Germany and Denmark was closed earlier this month as thousands of migrants headed north, trying to access the Scandinavian nations. Police instructed rail operators to cancel all services crossing the border, and were compelled to physically stop trains and ferries from making their journeys.
These unexpected delays are not only inconvenient for travellers, but cause significant problems for hauliers who transport food and other goods across the continent. Truckers warned last week the extra costs imposed by the migrant flood and commensurate security checks and delays meant higher costs for hauliers, which inevitably would mean higher food and commodity prices.