German train operators have gone on a six-hour strike during the morning rush hour, causing a major disruption in freight and passenger services across the country.
About 800 GDL operators walked off the job on Thursday after a fierce pay dispute with the state-owned national railway.
Hundreds of trains and subways came to a complete halt in dozens of cities. About 300 goods trains were also stuck in a backlog, causing the disruption to continue even after the end of the strike at 9:00 a.m. GMT, Reuters reported.
GDL Chief Claus Weselsky considered the halt as the first, among a series of those planned by the union, to gain success.
"We have brought up to 90 percent of freight traffic and more than 80 percent of passenger traffic to a halt. The effect is enormous," Weselsky added.
On February 22, a similar two-hour strike which was staged after months of negotiations for a salary increase, triggered numerous cancelations and delays.
The GDL currently represents 26,000 operators across Germany.