Not much to mention here, except for the fact that I would rather not want to need to commute to or from here: On-train Wi-Fi is still limited to – some – ICE trains, which do not serve here, and even worse is the 3g (or any g) coverage along the track. A third of the riding time is completely uncovered.
As nice as I found Leipzig, as irritating revealed the return fare. While the train was scheduled as an ICE, the displays announced an Intercity. In the end, both were true. The trip was officially considered an ICE line, while the train was composed of legacy cars and an engine (just like local Intercitys are). From what I learned, the wagons had formerly been in service for a private regional line, had been refurbished to somehow meet ICE standards and where now used as drop-in replacements for ICE 3s, while running short on those.
I have seen few east-German cities so far. While Berlin does not count anyway, there is Magdeburg, Dresden and very few more. Good idea to catch up, and why not finally see the place where, almost exactly a quarter decade ago, socialist Germany started ending. I have passed Leipzig a lot of times, since it is close to an Autobahn I rode frequently a couple of years. But I never got downtown, a task that Leipzig main station easily allows for. Also, I can prepare for future business which might include this city.
Today I am riding with company, a friend joins me for a part of the track. He was heading for family Christmas, which would have taken him through Düsseldorf anyway, so we had decided short-terms to take this opportunity for a drink and sleepover. We almost felt a bit like Jet-Set: When we were kids, making some additional fun of a long-distance trip looked like something reserved to the rich and the beauty. At least, that was the basic outcome of the yellow-pressed paper in Grandma’s restroom.
Train assembly seems an international issue. Or at least an issue bound to Deutsche Bahn being involved. It seems to difficult to accomplish that an actual car order is displayed on the mostly digital on-platform displays. I stopped counting how many times a train was ordered in opposite directions, and now that I think about it, it was mostly about international trains.
Now and then, business takes me beyond national borders. Which is a nice opportunity to prepare for the next-bigger scope (Europe). Even better, to the Netherlands. Better, because in many details, the Dutch are doing things quite pragmatically. This includes mobility.
Hamburg considers itself kind of “gate to the world”. While this is somehow true, especially in common perception, I learned to my relief that they are just as
germanhuman as anyone, anywhere.
While I could have easily spent some more hours in Düsseldorf (and probably will, next time), today is experiment day. While the last regular direct connection to Berlin starts short before nine, there are two more until the first morning ICE departs: An actual night train, starting in Wuppertal, and demanding an additional boarding fee (AFAIK), and an Intercity. The latter one to leave at half past two – heading for Hamburg. From there, a quite handy ICE connection would take me back to Berlin and to bed almost just within normal night-shift limits.
TL;DR: No service for you, because weekend, customers, and few staff.
My Bahncard includes a so-called “City ticket”. It is valid for 120+ cities’ local public transport, like bus or tramway. I couldn’t wait to test this feature, expecting at least some odds. However, long story short: Disappointing! While I silently hoped to encounter some ticket control or at least a Bus driver unfamiliar with the matter, nothing. Not that I had looked out for it. Au contraire, nice if it stays this way.
Needless to say: This is just for the records.