German ruling parties turns around – better late than never!

There is a little revolution happening in Germany: the “big coalition” of christ democrats and social democrats in Germany is now lobbying for the night trains. They wrote a movement for “cooperation models” which you find attached (unfortunately in German only), and they want better conditions for the night trains on the EU level, a common European booking system and good alternatives for the former workers of the German night trains (= DB-ERS).

>> Find the paper here (only in German)

Comments by Joachim Holstein:
Looking back to the autumn of 2014, when we had a manifestation in Berlin, right across the DB Tower, when we pressured pro night and motorail trains and when the Left party had a debate in parliament about these trains? Back then, the ruling parties were kind of condescending and belittling our goals: »These nostalgics are out of time«, and so on. And, most important: they claimed that the owner of DB (the state) had no right to give advice (or orders) to the DB management.
At the hearing of February 15, 2017, new sounds could be heard. The CDU cared about the future of the night train employees, and also the SPD dug into the phenomenon that Austrian ÖBB were able to handle something successfully what had been rejected by DB before.
And now, all of a sudden, there is a parliamentary motion by the governing parties: »Strengten the co-operation models of night train services«!
The points are:
Government shall according to the proposal do several things:
  1. Government shall (on behalf of the owner, the state) suggest to DB management that the co-operation models shall be maintained, and that it shall be cheched if an expansion of the network is possible (in co-operation with other train companies
  2. Government shall ensure that new night train companies will have discrimination-free access to the tracks and the station
  3. Government shall, on the EU level, support a framework favorable for cross-border rail traffic including night trains by abolishing administrative and technical obstacles
  4. Government shall suggest to DB management that rolling stock which is not longer needed by DB will be offered to other train companies in a public bid on European level
  5. Government shall support the development of a universal booking platform/system which includes the tickets of several countries
  6. Government shall speak up to DB board of directors in favour of offering to the employees of DB night train company DB European Railservice new jobs, respecting social standards, inside DB or with other night train companies
  7. Government shall report to Parliament, once in a legislature of four years, about the development of night train traffic, including information on the pricing and the number of customers of all night train companies involved, and information about the intramodel competition conditions.
As you can see, your and our effort have shown some effect! Thank you to all who signed the petition, to all who spoke or mailed to their member of parliament or to the press, to all who participated in activities on platforms, in front of stations and anywhere else.
In some time, this motion will be discussed in Parliament, probably together with the – much more far-reaching – motion of the Left party. All this will happen in the middle of the election campaign for the next Bundestag. That is a good opportunity for making our standpoint heard.

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