Last days of CeBIT marred by train strikes

A train drivers' strike threatens the mar the last days of the CeBIT event in Hanover, with the organising body laying on bus services for visitors coming in from other German cities to compensate.

The strike, announced by the German Train Drivers' Union, has been carefully timed to coincide with the two busiest days of CeBIT 2011 - causing maximum disruption for travellers, and making it more likely for the Union's demands to be met.

"I have asked the GDL in a personal letter to consider during their ongoing deliberations the negative impact of a strike on Germany’s image as a trade fair destination," explained Deutsche Messe's Ernst Raue at today's session. "Overseas visitors to CeBIT will have little understanding that - after long flights from Asia or America - they are stranded in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf or Hamburg because the trains are not running"

Those three cities have been selected to receive the bus service, which will be free for those who have entrance tickets or event registration forms. If attendees are flying in to other German airports, they might have a harder time of getting to the event.

With the attendance having picked up significantly following a rather slow start to the event on Tuesday, CeBIT's organisers will be hoping that the shuttle service proves an adequate replacement for the cancelled trains.