A migrant reacts as other board a train at a station near the border with Austria in Freilassing, Germany September 15, 2015.
SALZBURG, Austria Austria said on Tuesday it would impose new restrictions at its border from midnight, as the country on the main route for migrants entering the European Union by land struggled to cope with a backlog of thousands trying to reach Germany.
Berlin said on Sunday it was introducing border checks to stem the flow of people onto its territory, but Austria let migrants keep streaming through its border from Hungary unhindered for two more days. Salzburg, the last Austrian city on the way to Germany, was beginning to feel the strain.
“The city, province and the deployed organisations are doing everything to keep Salzburg station capable of functioning as a hub,” the province of Salzburg said in a news release.
Around 80 percent of trains to Munich, the route that tens of thousands of migrants have travelled on since Germany and Austria opened their borders to them more than a week ago, were cancelled on Tuesday, staff at the station said.
Roughly 500 migrants were at the station, and hundreds more were expected later in the evening, officials said, adding that there was accommodation at the station for 1,000 people.
Hundreds waited for hours on two of the station’s platforms.
The number of people crowding the station had begun to put safety at risk, the province’s statement said, giving an account of a meeting between organisations including the police, the fire brigade and the national rail operator, OeBB.
Thousands of migrants have poured into Austria in recent days, rushing through Hungary ahead of a Tuesday deadline that saw that country close its border with Serbia.
The route is the main one used by migrants heading over land across the Balkan peninsula for the EU in the biggest influx to Western Europe since World War Two.
More than 15,000 migrants walked across Austria’s border from Hungary on Monday, according to the police, a record since the start of the crisis.
Most are bound for Germany, which announced last month it would accept Syrian refugees regardless of where they enter the EU and is preparing to accept 800,000 asylum seekers this year.
“Very many travellers are already waiting at Salzburg’s main station for their onward journey,” OeBB, the rail operator, said in a statement around noon. “OeBB advises travellers against journeys to …Read More