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Line 66: Chaos after failures and car on tracks

Line 66 : Chaos after failures and car on tracks

Due to short-term sickness reports and a lack of reserves, several of the 66 line's trains failed on Tuesday morning in rush-hour traffic. The passengers react indignantly.

Passengers on Line 66 reacted with resignation, malice and anger on Tuesday morning. Three trains were cancelled during the main commute time in the morning alone - "due to short-term sick leave and a lack of personnel reserves", a spokesperson for the Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB) told the General-Anzeiger.

"And the next train to arrive cannot be entered, as it is much too full. So I missed my ICE in Siegburg," writes an angry passenger and reader. "On the busiest line there were no trains for 40 minutes, in the middle of rush hour", writes another GA reader and says clearly: "It's unbelievable, it can't get any more outrageous and incompetent.“

Failures and delays on line 66 between Bad Honnef, Bonn and Siegburg are now the order of the day. "It's just annoying! Every morning the same thing", comments one reader. Another reader lets us know via Facebook: "I quit, and I've been driving since then. My time is far too expensive for me. I don't feel like waiting for the 66."

Alyssa (20) from Hangelar wanted to "drive via Siegburg today to get to the university in Düsseldorf, because I constantly missed my connecting train via Bonn - and now I missed the next trains again - several in a row.“ While the 20-year-old can use the trains via her student ticket, another commuter complains about the ticket fees: "I expect punctuality with the prices! The number of cancellations in the last few months has never been higher.“

"This is very annoying and we can only apologise to our customers," said Michael Henseler, Deputy Press Officer of SWB. The situation since the timetable change could not be glossed over with "no line of argument". SWB is dependent on new drivers and "active on all channels" in order to recruit additional personnel. Currently, 19 drivers are undergoing training. We cannot say in general terms how high the overall demand is, "because more and more changes are imminent. This also includes, for example, the clock time compression of Line 18 in the left bank of the Rhine," says Henseler.

And the reliability will probably not improve in the foreseeable future. The "special situation" will even worsen this autumn, because on lines 62 and 16 replacement rail services will have to be set up due to construction work - and this will tie up additional rail passengers on both lines who are missing elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a brief carelessness on late Tuesday afternoon led to major problems in the after-work traffic in Beuel and Bonn.

The driver of a white Audi was heading towards downtown Bonn around 3.30 p.m. when the car left the lane at the corner of Sankt Augustiner Straße/Rathausstraße and hit the kerbstone that separates the car lane from the tram tracks of line 66. The car then turned 180 degrees, as a local police officer told the GA. The Audi then stopped in the opposite direction. "Thank God the car didn't roll over during the turn," said the policeman. Nobody was injured in the accident, but due to the broken down accident vehicle no trains could run between Konrad-Adenauer-Platz and Adelheidisstraße.

The passengers of line 66 got off the train at both stops, a substitute bus service then commuted between the two stops. The Stadtwerke Bonn informed via Twitter that the trams of line 66 were commuting between Siegburg and Vilich as well as Bad Honnef and Konrad-Adenauer-Platz due to the accident. Car drivers were led in the direction of Bonn single-lane past the accident site.

During the rescue of the Audi it rained heavily, many passengers of line 66 renounced the overcrowded bus replacement traffic and walked to the other stop - many passers-by expressed their displeasure and wondered how to get on the track bed of the tram. Since the accident car could not simply be pulled off the tracks with a tow truck, the police escorted a tow truck with a crane to the accident car. With the help of the crane, the Audi was quickly lifted off the tracks around 4.30 pm.

Experts from Stadtwerke Bonn then inspected the tracks together - but fortunately found no damage.

It was only in mid-September that a 25-year-old had landed in Bonn with her car on the Deutsche Bahn track bed. This year, the Ahrtalbahn already collided twice with a car that had run onto the tracks near Ahrbrück.

Original text: Dylan Cem Akalin, Maximilian Mühlens

Translation: Mareike Graepel