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Photo: Jana Rodenbusch / REUTERS

According to the group, Deutsche Bahn's train services have started again as planned. "Since the start of operations early Saturday morning, DB has been running the normal timetable service again in long-distance, regional and S-Bahn traffic," a DB spokesman said on Saturday. Previously, the train drivers' union GDL had ended its 24-hour warning strike on Friday evening at 22 p.m.

However, there could still be isolated deviations in the daily routine, it said. DB also expects many passengers and busy trains on weekends after the strike. The company therefore advised passengers to check their connections before travelling. On the website of the railway, a high occupancy rate was shown for many long-distance trains.

Only one in five long-distance trains ran during the strike

During the strike, around a fifth of long-distance ICE and IC trains were running, and regional and S-Bahn services were greatly reduced. However, the emergency timetable worked reliably, the railway said. A backlog formed in freight traffic, which, according to the railway, should only be completely resolved in a few days.

The GDL's strike was the second in this year's collective bargaining round. Over the Christmas period until 7 January, she does not want to strike again. After that, however, rail passengers could face longer walkouts, because the GDL has called for a ballot on indefinite strikes. The result is due to be announced on 19 December. The head of the trade union, Claus Weselsky, has already indicated that there is a threat of significantly longer strikes in January. At the end of November, the GDL had declared the talks with the state-owned company to have failed.

The biggest point of contention is the GDL's demand for a reduction in working hours from 38 to 35 hours per week for shift workers with full wage compensation. To do this, she demands 555 euros more per month as well as an inflation compensation bonus of 3000 euros. At the beginning of the talks, Deutsche Bahn had offered eleven percent more wages and salaries for a term of 32 months of the collective agreement. The GDL had rejected this as completely inadequate. The railways, on the other hand, are primarily resisting the demanded reduction in working hours.