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Rail Delay Scarf

One year at the station

By knitting while waiting for the train — often late —, Claudia Weber produced a five-and-a-half-meter long scarf, a novel way of working out her frustrations. The “Bahn-Verspätungsschal,” or “rail delay scarf,” was then put on eBay to raise money for a Germany charity that provides free assistance to people at train stations, and sold through a bid for 7.550 euros, or about $8.650, to the Deutsche Bahn railway company itself.

Happened in Germany, over 2018, as Claudia’s train journey from a town in the Bavarian countryside to Munich was replaced with a bus service during track repairs, the story has been reported by the journalist Sara Weber, her daughter, who published the shot on Twitter. The colors were not chosen by chance, but based on the delay of the train: gray for delays under five minutes, pink for up to 30 minutes and red for a delay of more than a half-hour or delays in both directions. “It’s not a statistic, it’s one year and how I felt about it,” said Claudia, a 55-year-old office clerk at a travel agency, “I understand the problems they’re having. There’s more and more commuters every year, but on the other hand I spend a lot of time waiting.”

Still, this year, Claudia is knitting another scarf.

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