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.
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.
This trip is about to prove multiple advantages of an all-in annual ticket. For one thing, which is not really news, I can again combine working in a mobile office with a short-term, yet important business meeting on the station. For another, I can take the chance to go swimming. And before you wonder: Finding a swimming site with acceptable water temperatures is not that simple in Berlin.
ICE line 10, the one connecting Berlin and the Rhine/Ruhr area, has become one of the most important and most frequented lines since years, not only since it connects former capital Bonn with the current one. Needless to say that mobile Internet is of some importance here, not just as it is being officially pledged and offered as an included service on this track.
Today I encountered a premium example for how deep a bad business strategy can impact. In the case given, one single damaged engine lead to subsequent issues not only in wide parts of western Germany, but even affected international traffic. Trains had to be reorganized up to Amsterdam, Holland, where an “ICE International” train connects to Frankfurt (Main, Germany).
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.
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.
They finally made it. After some half year, they re-opened the Düsseldorf site of what German Bahn calls “DB Lounge”. A concept similar to airline lounges, limited to frequent travelers (and some other). Those who are expected to not (only) come for the bargain. The point in these places is not only that they provide beverage, sometimes Snacks and relative quietness. Almost more important, I can have Internet access, a seat and, given some luck, even a desktop. Perfect to me.