Broken track

Route

From
Vias
Destination
Distance
816 km
Distance (BC)
816 km
Lines

Service achievements

Total time Avg. speed Delay Boarded Wi-Fi pledged Wi-Fi fulfilled Wi-Fi overall
7.5 hours 109 km/h 11 % 93 % 80 % 58 % 47 %

Damage totals

Trains/cars Notably damaged Defect rate
4 1 25 %

Details

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.

Just to not get too comfortable, the second part was of more familiar comfort. Again, the on-board Wi-Fi failed and delivered only very occasionally, forcing me to work on EDGE premises as bad as possible.

What still followed that night makes a perfect match to Deutsche Bahn’s press releases as of today, loudly claiming Deutsche Bahn’s biggest customer offensive of all times to finally turn everything into the better. Until 2030.

Before you start questioning whether I am (or they were) serious with that: I doubt 15 years will suffice to fix 25 years’ mess of disastrous management, riding on wear and blatantly headless action.

Log time: 
23:05

As if “known” issues weren’t enough, and as if riding more or less on time would damage statistics, the final adventure was yet to come. Few kilometers close to Berlin, our train would stop on the open track to demonstrate Deutsche Bahn’s contemporary info management standards to everyone interested (or not).

Log time: 
23:10

Finally some staff decides to inform us that our train “has unexpectedly come to a stop” (duh!) and that, unfortunately, we would have “some minutes” of delay due to unknown reasons.

Log time: 
23:20

My – still: polite – inquiry on a somehow more precise definition of “some minutes” is replied with a “we don’t know, anything between current and two hours, probably” and, on my not showing satisfaction with this precision level, with a “still we are lucky we could take this track, others are waiting too, and if we were less lucky we could not have ridden at all”.

Some staff seems to have quite interesting definitions of “luck”, but I would not complain any further since my unclear impression was that they were not even kidding. Deutsche Bahn service duty actually seems demanding enough to lower expectations of what “luck” may be.

Log time: 
23:45

We finally proceed. That is, we move to the opposite track, since ours is under heavy construction, as shows through the side windows. Seems that, finally, first consequences of cheap constructions pay off: It has been a known fact since long that on the high-speed track between Berlin and Hannover, cheap materials and the mandatory German price dumping have left their foot prints like time bombs. Now obviously ready to blow – let’s see what happens next.

More disturbing on this issue is, actually, the catastrophic information flow showing up clearly again. As I learned later on, the damage had been discovered early that day, and the ambulant surgery equipment I saw was quite impressive. Which simply means that, if anyone really cared for customer (or at least: internal staff) information, this delay could have even shown up in my mobile schedule before I even started the trip, I could have chosen an alternative routing. Everyone else could have so, too. And maybe this was the point.

I am left to my own devices here, as usual, and so I cannot help but figuring that this informational mess was intentional. In order not to have too many people select a different route and blow capacities there. Or, even more likely: They deeply care a ton of shit on information at all.

I tend to consider the second. It would also make a better match with nobody on board even attempting to feign concern; in every other alike situation elsewhere on this world you would have both gotten reliable information in the first place, and a free drink of your choice in the second.

But this is Germany, so what.