Opinion divided over women-only train compartments on eastern German route

April 18, 2016

By Kate Brady, Deutsche Welle

Upon boarding the RE6 Leipzig-to-Chemnitz regional train, the dark, former East German carriages, separated into six-seater compartments, hardly promise to be the coziest of experiences on German transport, even on one of Saxony’s sunnier April days. However, the environment seems safe enough: a polite nod from one passenger, a helping hand from another to a couple struggling to squeeze their suitcases into the overhead rack. But as many a traveler will tell you, this isn’t always the case.Website Insert Real Numbers copy

The hashtag #imzugpassiert (“happened on the train”), which began trending on Twitter in recent weeks, was a testament to this, with German Twitter users sharing their experiences of harassment on trains: from the stares and the inappropriate comments to the physical harassment.

Sense of security

The social media outcry came in response to the separate women’s compartments introduced by a private German rail company, Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn (MRB), on its line between the eastern German cities of Leipzig and Chemnitz.

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