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Old February 22nd, 2011, 05:50 PM   #801
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Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
This winter's been a huge disaster. Hourlong delays, bad service...and DB officials knew this was going to happen. To be honest I don't think they're a good alternative to driving anymore. I chose DB over my car twice last year for city trips within Germany and both times something went horribly wrong (stuck in Essen for an hour for example, a 30 minute delay was racked up on the trip between Cologne and Hamburg and one of the carriages with my seat reservation magically went missing).
So you not going to use rail anymore?
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:07 PM   #802
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This winter's been a huge disaster. Hourlong delays, bad service...and DB officials knew this was going to happen.
And I travelled from Belgium to Switzerland in the mids of that "disaster" and arrive on my destination half an hour later. ANd that was mostly because we were delayed in Belgium.
One of the advantages of DB is that they run so many trains at regular intervals that even if the system gets in a mess there isually still is a train going your way at more or less the time you want. In my case I just ended up taking other trains then originally planned.

If I compare that with france where missing a single train can make you late four hours (happend to me), or where the whole country sometimes goes on strike making travel impossible for weeks (happend last year) I know what I prefer...
Mostly I'm note really away of time passing anyway. Getting from the Benelux to Switzerland will eat up a day anyway. I just bring along a few good books.
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To be honest I don't think they're a good alternative to driving anymore. I chose DB over my car twice last year for city trips within Germany and both times something went horribly wrong (stuck in Essen for an hour for example, a 30 minute delay was racked up on the trip between Cologne and Hamburg and one of the carriages with my seat reservation magically went missing).
Well, in my case the choice is rather straightforwards, as I don't have a car (as I prefer to spend my money elsewhere, like on not being in debt).
If I divide what a car would cost me by the time it could potentially save me I end up with a hourly rate way above what I earn. So it's not worth it.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:27 PM   #803
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
As if driving were a nuisance.
For me it is (even when travelling as passenger).
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:35 PM   #804
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So you not going to use rail anymore?
Only if I have to. To be honest, if you're planning a vacation on the spot (ie say a week from today or something like that), rail travel really isn't any cheaper than driving by car. A one way ticket from say Cologne to Hamburg will probably cost you around €100. Then you've got the added stress of being dependent on others. If you drive by car you can just decide yourself when to leave and when to head back. I guess it's just a personal preference. I'm not crazy about driving either but DB has to be one of the shittiest companies in Europe.

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And I travelled from Belgium to Switzerland in the mids of that "disaster" and arrive on my destination half an hour later.
A friend of mine works in Frankfurt and travels there on a daily basis from a Cologne. There must have been 90 minute delays both in the morning and evening throughout all of December. And that connection (Cologne-Frankfurt) is supposed to be on the best in all of Germany.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 07:41 PM   #805
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That's nothing compared to Amtrak. Any planned improvements for DB or any future competitors?
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 09:15 PM   #806
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^Thats not true, have you taken Amtrak in NE region?
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 11:32 PM   #807
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
As if driving were a nuisance.
I love driving! And I have a passion for automobiles.
But going straight on a Highway for hours is out of my concept of "driving", that's really a nuisance. A complete waste of my time.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:28 AM   #808
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^Thats not true, have you taken Amtrak in NE region?
I was referring to Amtrak outside of Northeast, and no I haven't.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 02:14 AM   #809
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One of the advantages of DB is that they run so many trains at regular intervals that even if the system gets in a mess there usually still is a train going your way at more or less the time you want. In my case I just ended up taking other trains then originally planned.
You're rather lucky that you travel through Germany along its most frequently served corridors. Elsewhere in the country there are no services to fall back on to.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 04:37 AM   #810
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Railways in Germany can't be that bad.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 07:05 AM   #811
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Give the Northeastern US 4 decades and will have a system 3x better then Germany...... But i thought Germany had the best European network? It seems to meet the needs of everyone...
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 08:04 AM   #812
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As if driving were a nuisance.
I don't find driving that much of a nuisance. Owning a car however is. Having to fork out 150 CHF per month for parking at my home, then again another 200 CHF per month for parking where I work. And that is before I would have moved a km. And then we're not even mentioning all the other expenses and nuisance. No, I prefer to contract my transportation needs out to professionals most of the time. There's a lot of taxis you can take with the money you save not owning a car...
I travel daily on the Swiss Railway network, which is supposed to be expensive, and my monthly pass costs less then what I'd spend in fuel alone on my commute.

I prefer to reserve my driving to situations where it can be fun. A car is a good vehicle to explore an out of way place. Last summer I took the train all the way from Switzerland to Scotland and rented a car there.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 08:14 AM   #813
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Railways in Germany can't be that bad.
Indeed. One advantage of the interval timetable and integrated network aproach of the DB (and the SBB, the NS, the NMBS) is that in cases of disruptions it degrades gradually.
That's an advantage over air. People complain about the chaos and delays last winter, but forget that it was still possible in most cases to get to your final destination, albeit with maybe less comfort and some delays.
At the airports the story was different. There people were just stuck for days.
I travelled from Switzerland to Belgium before Christmas, to spend Christmas eve there. Our route was night train from Zürich to Köln, and then the Thalys high speed train to Brussel. The Thalys was about an hour late in Brussel, because there had been heavy snow fall, and since it was the first train of the day, and the rails weren't visible it had to travel at a slower speed.
However, we made it to our destination. If we'd elected to fly we would never have made it out of Switzerland, and would have missed spending Christmas with our relatives altogether.

I know a bit about what goes on behind the scene in railway companies. One big advantage of rail is that the "failure modes" are such that it can cope with much more extreme situations than airline or even private transport. The SBB can cancel 40% of their IC trains, and still bring everyone to their destination with not more that 5 minutes delay. But then SBB is ofcourse the benchmark when it comes to reliability. DB has structural problems, but all in all they still do quite well, compared to countries like Italy or even France.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 08:23 AM   #814
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Whenever there is a huge snow storm, all forms of transportation gets ****ed.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 02:03 PM   #815
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Problem is that DB had huge delays even when there wasn't any snow on the ground. What's more they seem to not give a crap about regional commuters. Every year I attend a trade fair in Düsseldorf and every f'ing year the trains are completely full (thanks to that you usually rack up a delay of about 20 minutes on a trip that should take no more than 30). How about adding a couple of carriages or an extra train in between the 2 scheduled connections? Nope, hasn't happened for years now.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 06:16 PM   #816
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Problem is that DB had huge delays even when there wasn't any snow on the ground.
They indeed have some structural problems with some rolling stock. I hope that now that high speed trainsets are build by a single company, and not by a consortium of what are normally competitors they might become more reliable.
But that said, my experience is generally positive. Not as reliable as SBB, but better than Trenitalia or even SNCF
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What's more they seem to not give a crap about regional commuters. Every year I attend a trade fair in Düsseldorf and every f'ing year the trains are completely full (thanks to that you usually rack up a delay of about 20 minutes on a trip that should take no more than 30). How about adding a couple of carriages or an extra train in between the 2 scheduled connections? Nope, hasn't happened for years now.
The thing is of course that there are two DB's that run trains. There is DB Reise and Touristik, which runs the long distance network, and there is DB regio, which runs regional and commuter trains as a subcontractor to the different German States. The two are separate companies, although part of the same holding. But the important distinction is that when it comes to regional transportation it's not DB that decides which trains run where with what rolling stock. So you should direct your complaint at VRR, not DB.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 08:17 PM   #817
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By far worst railway in company in Europe and World is VR Oy. Finnish state railway company.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 08:41 PM   #818
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How comparable are the services between the DB affiliates and the various private railways, such as Metronom, NordOstSee Bahn, NordWest Bahn and Interconnex?
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Old February 24th, 2011, 07:19 PM   #819
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Basically, they all are integrated into the same fare system and the authorities define the standards for every service. So they are in fact quite comparable. However, private operators tend to use on average newer stock.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 02:05 PM   #820
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the interconnex is the only exception as it stands outside any other fare system.
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