Over and over again?

A swing bridge in Hamburg in the 1980's

As you might have guessed, or noticed, or both, this here ended after half of the time. I had other business to do. However I do not want to just freeze this site, so here’s a quick summary of my one-year-all-in experience. I did use that card until the very last day, and it was as much a pain and a pleasure as all rides I have logged.

I also learned a lot of differences between German railways and those in other countries, that is, the Netherlands. They do have their own issues, no doubt, however a lot of processes and approaches there are very worth considering.

Strikeseeing

Destination: 
Distance: 
954 km
A map by Deutsche Bahn shows the normal route Munich - Berlin (dotted) and today's alternatives.

The last time German train drivers were on strike, I consequently decided to purchase my “Bahncard 100” all-in subscription. Now, some half year later, the impressions I had back then seem to be somehow confirmed.

Taking into account that about half of their driving personnel is off their posts, the long-distance connections do actually work better than you would expect, however, few people realize it. The reasons for this are manifold, the most important being disastrous, plan-less and arbitrary communication - if any:

Parking brake on

Destination: 
Distance: 
641 km

If one thing is getting more and more obvious with Deutsche Bahn, it is their trying to run everything on wear. For at least half an hour’s ride, the first ICE’s chassis it sounded like the brakes were still on, and at some point we stopped on open track after that chassis had made some additional cracking sounds. I figure the brake was somehow stuck, which the board computer probably recognized, and then forced the train driver to re-boot the system.

Suicidal cracks

Destination: 
Distance: 
640 km

I shouldn’t have kid around with the conductor regarding the benefits of high speed tracks. Simply because the best high speed tracks won’t help if the mandatory spring suicide asshole starts jumping on these tracks. Call me cold-hearted, be my guest! In my understanding, however, nothing in the world justifies forcing your very own (maybe deep) problems onto anyone else who did not invite you. TL;DR: No respect, no sympathies.

Broken track

Destination: 
Distance: 
816 km

Another fail-day on rails, this time brought to you by broken tracks and, again, buggy Wi-Fi.

The first part between Munich and Göttingen was of only minor inconvenience (a compartment initially displayed as “unreserved” just switched to “fully reserved” right after I had made myself at home, however it was yet another of these popular German “reservation-just-in-case”, also known as “bathing towel-sun chair-reservations”), effectively I had at least some hours full of comfort and all on my own.

Will be fixed next year on thursday

Destination: 
Distance: 
815 km

Again, no mobile Internet. Lucky this was only on a part of the track. And I had the chance to learn from the train attendant that the current incident process for what Deutsche Bahn offers as an included service is like so: A record is logged and sent to their maintenance staff and on the next-up train inspection (in some weeks or whatever) “someone” will hopefully “somehow” take care.

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