Passengers on Swiss train told to jump up and down to free wedged door

Passengers on Swiss train told to jump up and down to free wedged door

When something as mechanically impressive as a train goes wrong, we often expect there to be an equally impressive and complex way to fix it. Not so for the S14 train from Konstanz to the Swiss city of Kreuzlingen on February 19: when the footplate on one of the doors got stuck, staff asked passengers to move about the train to try and dislodge it. Amazingly, at one point the driver even asked travellers to jump up and down to try and free the door.

Swiss train delayed after door gets wedged

According to passengers on the train, trouble started before the 3.38pm S14 Thurbo service had even left Konstanz station. Instead of departing the German city on time, an unexplained 15-minute delay started to appear on the station's departure boards.

A while after the delay was first shown, workers on the train came through on the loudspeaker, telling passengers that a train door was broken. Unbeknown to them was the real reason for the delay: a retracting footplate on one of the doors had gotten wedged between the train and the platform. The train service was therefore delayed for an indefinite period.

Thurbo driver orders passengers to jump, jump, jump

Not to be deterred, the driver soon came on the tannoy, asking that every passenger move to the right-hand side of the train. Then, in a command that caused equal parts confusion and bewilderment, the driver ordered that “on the count of three, everyone jumps up. 1, 2, 3!" After some hesitation, passengers finally started to play along, jumping up and down trying to fix the problem. “It looked like kindergarten and everyone laughed,” one traveller told 20 Minuten.

Sadly, the jumping failed to dislodge the wedged door. Therefore, the driver asked that everyone congregate in the front right of the train - for context, it was only then that staff told the passengers what the specific fault was and why moving about and jumping up and down could solve the problem.

Passengers succeed in freeing wedged train door

Miraculously, with all the passengers in the front right of the train, the footplate finally sprung free, and the train was able to complete its journey to Kreuzlingen with just a 15-minute delay. “People were happy and clapped,” one jubilant traveller told 20 Minuten.

In a statement given to the newspaper, Thurbo said that while it was rare for passengers to be asked to jump up and down and move it all around, the driver was reacting appropriately to the fault. The company blamed the different platform design in Germany for causing the issue, praised passengers for helping fix the fault and apologised for the delay.

Thumb image credit: NGCHIYUI /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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