Chemnitz (dpa/sn) - After 16 years, Chemnitz is again connected to long-distance traffic. On Sunday, the IC 17 started punctually at 6.26 a.m. from Chemnitz main station via Berlin to Rostock-Warnemünde, as the Verkehrsverbund Mittelsachsen announced on Sunday. Bahn customers can now travel to Berlin twice a day - at 6:26 a.m. and 8:26 a.m. - without having to change trains. The double-decker IC takes two and a half hours to BER Airport. A three-hour drive is planned to get to Berlin Central Station.
"This is a first big step after south-west Saxony was literally decoupled from the railways in the 1990s," said Saxony's Economics Minister Martin Dulig. With the electrification and expansion of the route between Leipzig and Chemnitz, another transport project of great importance for Saxony is pending, emphasized the SPD politician.
The Bündnis Bahninitiative Chemnitz generally welcomed the long-distance train connection. In addition to the few daily connections, the one-sided orientation of the connection should also be viewed with skepticism, it said in a statement. "The InterCity connection is tailored to passengers from the Chemnitz region. The departure times offered are rather unattractive for people from the north or Berlin," said Markus Haubold, deputy chairman of the Pro Bahn Mitteldeutschland passenger association. Only when this connection runs in both directions every two hours can it also become interesting for passengers outside of Saxony.
With the IC, the travel time to Berlin does not change significantly compared to the current timetable. Passengers currently also need three hours to get to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, but have to wait three quarters of an hour when changing trains in Leipzig. Two direct connections are also planned in the opposite direction from Berlin to Chemnitz. They should reach Saxony's third largest city around 7.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.