Trains across Germany... brought to a standstill on Monday morning.
With rail workers staging a four-hour strike over pay.
Long-distance rail traffic ground to a halt disrupting commuter and freight trains
with only a few operating in the cities of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt.
State-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn said regional train traffic, too, was significantly affected across the country.
"It's really very unpleasant. I am trying to get to Salzburg so I got up in the middle of the night, only to be stuck here until 9 a.m."
The strike comes after wage talks between railway union EVG and Deutsche Bahn broke down at the weekend.
"We were far advanced in our negotiations with the EVG union. We had offered a package of 6.7 percent so it's incomprehensible to us that EVG interrupted the negotiations and announced this strike totally unnecessarily."
Also losing some steam
Germany's trade surplus narrowed in October with imports growing faster than exports
Exports were slowed down by trade disputes between the U.S. and both China and the EU.
Most economists expect the German economy to cool rather than enter a recession.
In its ninth year of growth, it has been increasingly relying on consumption supported by low interest rates and a robust labour market.