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WEATHER

Trains in northern Germany cancelled over storm

Several train services in the northern half of the country are being cancelled due to severe weather warnings.

A sign on a train in Dortmund says 'do not board'. Lots of services have been cancelled due to the storm.
A sign on a train in Dortmund says 'do not board'. Lots of services have been cancelled due to the storm. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd Thissen

After storm Ylenia hit the country on Wednesday night and Thursday, a new weather front called Zeynep is expected on Friday afternoon, bringing with it extreme winds and lots of rain.

And it’s having an impact on travel. 

Deutsche Bahn said on Friday that several regional and long-distance services in the northern half of the country were being suspended.

The suspension of regional services affects Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Bremen, as well as parts of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The cancellations will take place gradually “during the course of the day”, the spokesperson said. In North Rhine-Westphalia, this was to begin on some lines from 2pm.

READ ALSO: Germany issues extreme weather warning for next storm

In the long-distance network, connections from Hamburg in the direction of Berlin, Hanover and Cologne are affected. ICE and IC services on the east-west route between Cologne via Hanover to Berlin were also suspended on Friday. 

Deutsche Bahn said there would be “no more long-distance trains north of Dortmund, Hanover and Berlin”.

Meanwhile, ICE and IC trains between Frankfurt(Main) or Berlin and Amsterdam have been cancelled throughout the day.

Free cancellation of tickets

The Deutsche Bahn spokesperson told Germany’s Tagesschau that the cancellations are due to “severe” storm warnings.

The rail operator is strongly advising that passengers postpone their journeys and rebook. Passengers can use their tickets booked for the period from Thursday to Sunday flexibly until February 27th, or cancel them free of charge if they postpone journeys because of the storm.

If that isn’t possible, passengers have been strongly advised to stay informed about the current storm and possibility of delays and cancellations.

Gusts of up to 160 km/h are predicted in some parts of northern Germany. 

Forecasters at the German Weather Service (DWD) predict storm Zeynep will affect the northern half and centre of Germany from Friday afternoon until early Saturday morning.

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WEATHER

Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h have injured motorists, toppled trees, and disrupted train travel around Germany.

Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Storm Antonia—the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday, swept through the country with winds of up to 100 km/h in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, and even recorded hurricane force winds of 149 km/h on the Feldberg mountain peak in the Black Forest.

Two drivers in Lower Saxony were injured when their cars crashed into a tree that Antonia had blown over.

Both drivers had to be taken to nearby hospitals in the Osnabrück district, according to a police spokesperson. The storm also overturned a truck on Schleswig-Holstein’s Fehmarnsund Bridge, closing the roadway to the nearby island in both directions. In the meantime, Antonia also flooded parts of Hamburg’s Altona district.

Antonia also damaged cars and destroyed roofs in North-Rhine Westphalia. Fire crews in Herdecke, just south of Dortmund, reported that a roof of one apartment building flew off and landed on another building, massively damaging it, although no injuries were reported.

200 metres of a bus overhead line in Solingen were also completely ripped out after a tree fell on the line.

German state rail company Deutsche Bahn is also warning travellers to expect both delays and cancellations on Monday after storm damage made more than 6,000 kilometres of rail track impassable.

Long distance trains originating in the northeastern cities of Rostock and Stralsund saw their services to both Hamburg and Berlin cancelled.

Further cancellations were seen on routes between Emden and Cologne and operations between Siegen and Dortmund. Regional rail service in North-Rhine Westphalia was halted as a precautionary measure on Sunday evening, but are set to resume normal operations Monday.

Replacement bus services on rail lines operated by Metronom in Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Bremen are expected to be in place until Monday afternoon, with rail restrictions in Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland expected to last through much of Monday.

Following disrupted train services, some lessons in the Lower Franconian district of Miltenberg were cancelled for Monday.

Antonia is the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday and some damage still remains from previous storms Ylenia and Zeynep.

At least six people died in those two storms, with insurance claims expected to be in the billions.

Meteorologists with the German Weather Service (DWD) say high winds will remain an issue in Germany this week, but will be weaker.

Vocabulary

Hurricane – (der) Orkan  

Storm – (der) Sturm 

Storm damage – (die) Unwetterschäden

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