“Often 100 refugees” – night train 466: Quiet stream of migrants through Tyrol

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An endless caravan of migrants flows through the country almost unnoticed, a Nightjet from Vienna to Zurich via Innsbruck becomes the focal point again and again. Descriptions and various photos available to the “Krone” paint a surprising picture.

There was a brief uproar in Tyrol when conductors and refugees got in each other’s way on June 29, and the mood in the ÖBB long-distance train became increasingly aggressive. The police therefore removed 138 refugees from the train in Landeck, some of whom were missing tickets and documents. Black and blue mocking in press reports about unacceptable conditions – but that’s it for now.

Caravan moves on
Meanwhile, the “silent caravan” travels through Tyrol towards Western Europe. The Nightjet NJ 466 Vienna – Zurich in particular became the focal point (in Innsbruck from 5:23 am). A “Krone” reader (name known to the editors) has been on this route three times on Saturday and once on Sunday in recent weeks and has documented the conditions. “There are often 100 migrants in the wagons”, the passenger learns from conversations and personal observations.

Police operations often lead to delays
The often overtired and often young men do not want to attract attention. Still, there are occasional turbulences when tickets are missing and there is misunderstanding. In the summer there were therefore regular police operations. Between June 17 and July 4 alone, the trade magazine “Eisenbahn Österreich” lists eight such cases, which also caused delays of the NJ 466.

The situation is not pleasant for local passengers: “In Innsbruck, two women got in and went to their reserved seats, but several men were already there. The women have refrained from talking to them,” the reader of “Krone” noted.

The ÖBB points out that most refugees have valid tickets. Passengers without a valid ticket, wherever they come from, would have to pay an extra fare or be kicked off the train. However, it is also clear that ÖBB staff are not allowed to carry out identity checks. “It is only up to the authorities. Such checks also take place regularly,” emphasizes ÖBB spokesperson Christoph Gasser-Mair.

Mostly asylum status, not traveling illegally
The Tyrolean Immigration Police know that the NJ 466 and early trains are frequented by migrants. However, the head Harald Baumgartner emphasizes: “Most people have already applied for asylum and therefore have asylum status in Austria. So you travel legally.” Leaving the country alone would be punishable by law, but of course the local police could not comment further on this. Here too, the pragmatic approach is that people in Tyrol don’t necessarily want to stop and get them off the train.

Almost everyone wants to continue to Western Europe
Why are there so many refugees on this train? Usually the migrants want to travel on to France or England. Their personal data is registered at the Swiss border station in Buchs. “You then have to buy tickets and you can continue to Zurich. From there they take the TGV to Paris,” said Swiss border police officers. In general, Baumgartner can understand what the French newspaper “Le Soir” headlined on the subject: “Austria, Europe’s migration corridor”.

Source: Krone

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