German Rail (including the S-Bahn: light rail?) went on strike at eight o'clock this morning, just as I got to Harburg.
Some people managed to "escape" on long-distance trains which still ran (even though most of them stop in Harburg only for people getting out). I hoped to continue my journey on the Metronom; since it's run by a different company, it shouldn't be affected by the strike.
Turned out it was, indirectly: since all the tracks in Hamburg's main station were blocked with trains that were not going anywhere, the Metronom ended in Harburg as well since it wouldn't be able to enter the station if it continued.
Met the elders and Guide there. We considered taking a bus to Wilhelmsburg and then another from there to Berliner Tor, but we weren't the only ones to have considered that -- the crowd of people surrounding the bus stop was pretty awesome, and not in the good sense.
So we went back to the station to see whether we could share a taxi, but no dice. Any taxi that arrived was immediately surrounded by a bunch of people, and there were simply way too many people standing there, and the station doors disgorged new throngs every ten minutes or so.
Guido had the idea to call Thomas, who was nice enough to come and pick us up a while later, and drove us to the main station, from where the elder and I could take the U-Bahn (underground/subway; run by a different company, so not affected by the strike).
All in all, it took me about 1:45 longer to get to work, and if Thomas hadn't picked us up, who knows how much longer it would have taken.
You're really up a gum tree in Harburg if the S3 doesn't run... your options are basically to take the 152 to Wilhelmsburg (runs every hour) and then the 154 to Berliner Tor; to take the 146 to Finkenwerder and then the ferry to Landungsbrücken or Teufelsbrück (which has only been an option for the last few months; before that, the bus was the E51 and only operated in the early morning for people going to Airbus); or to take the 141 to Neugraben or Neuwiedenthal and then the 250 to Altona. All of which take really long, and of course they don't have the capacity of a train.