Construction in Cologne Many delays in rail traffic around Bonn

Bonn · Train track renewal in Cologne is the cause of many rail traffic delays in and around Bonn, and the work corresponds exactly with the scheduling of the climate summit. Here’s what commuters and transportation companies have to say about the situation.

Of all times, track renewals between Cologne-South and Cologne Central Station fall exactly during the United Nations World Climate Conference. Since November 1, there have been scheduled train cancellations and trains are no longer pulling into Cologne-South and Cologne-West. Long distance traffic from Cologne traveling south is routed over the Beuel station.

Mixed reviews from passengers

Passenger Stefanie Schäfers says, “Hardly any train leaves punctually, most of them are cancelled completely or interrupt their journey." Alternatives for public transport on the routes of railway lines 16 and 18 between Cologne and Bonn do not exist. Travel time takes twice as long. Ruben Schäfer comments, “In all its genius, the (German) Rail of course carries out such work at the same time the climate conference is going on. Full trains and massive delays are guaranteed.”

Richard Willis, who is commuting between the Cop23 and Luxembourg, is also unhappy about the situation. "It is difficult to get from the UN Campus stop to Beuel, because as someone who is not familiar with the area, you are missing some information.” Although there were many security personnel at the Rheinaue, hardly anyone could help. The result: He has to go from Beuel to Koblenz and Trier until he can get on a train to Luxembourg - with two and a half hours delay. Mathias Borneck, who commutes daily from Bonn Central Station to Leverkusen, now needs twice as long for his trip.

Things are better for Malte von Hofe who was only a half hour late on his return to Bonn. Adrienne Nemeth, who lives in Cologne and currently works for an event agency at the Cop23, commutes daily from Cologne-Ehrenfeld, the substitute stop for the cancelled stations. "I don’t think it's that bad. It's just an exceptional situation," she says.

Lead time for construction is three years

After one week, a German Rail spokesperson from Düsseldorf summed it up by saying that adjustments had had to be made and the trains were full but nobody was getting left behind. As of Monday, there had been many delays of more than ten minutes. "Of course, this will affect the connections," said the spokesperson. There had been considerations to delay the construction but this would have been quite a feat. Lead time for this kind of work is around three years and it has to be synchronized with the European-wide timetable. The fact that the climate conference was coming to Bonn has only been known for nearly one year.

Local connections unproblematic

Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), the authority responsible for local public transportation says that connections to buses and trams have been working well. SWB spokesperson Veronika John said that because they had been informed in advance of the disruptions, they were able to plan for it, especially the increased demand at the Beuel station. She said there were service staff, SWB apprentices and volunteers from the UN who were there to answer questions for travelers.

(Orig. text: Philipp Königs, Nicolas Ottersbach / Translation: ckloep)

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