German Trains

Nov 11th, 2007, 01:41 PM
  #1  
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German Trains

On my trip from Frankfurt to Amsterdam I had a train run late getting to my transfer at Duisberg.
Of course the train to amsterdam was on time. I missed the connection and bought a hotel room at the Ibis, being that there wasn't a train till next moring. The germans should have bought my hotel room and I didn't know to ask.
The money saved would have got me a leather briefcase in Rome. Just thought I'd let you all know.
dsjewell is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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ira
 
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Thanks for posting, dj.

ira is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Why do you think the German railways owe you a hotel room?

just curious as to your reasoning as this flies in the face of everything i know about German railways' liability

rather i may blame you for scheduling such a tight connection

I think you have no case - so plead your case please and exactly why you deserve a night in the IBIS at DB's expense?
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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Unfortunately, German trains aren't as punctual as many people think they are. They can and do run late. You deserved a ticket for the next available train, but not a hotel room. You were taking a risk in booking such a late train.

From my own experience with missed connections in Germany due to late trains, I avoid booking the last (or even second to last) train to a destination. Plus, I make sure I have at least 20 minutes between connections, although I usually try for 30 minutes or more. It's much easier to while away 20 minutes at a cafe than to miss a connection or have to run like mad to make it.

Now the DB web site does offer itineraries with connections that are as little as 6 minutes apart, which, IMHO, shouldn't be done without a caveat that such connections are not always practical or advisable (people unfamiliar with DB may wrongly assume that all German trains run like clockwork. They don't). You can also uncheck the "prefer fast connections" option on bahn.de when planning itineraries.
BTilke is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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Great tip about unchecking the 'prefer fast connections' box, BTilke. I was wondering why all the itineraries it was pulling up had such tight connections. Thanks!
abbynicole27 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 03:39 PM
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I tend to book my tickets by segment, since I tend to buy them in the train station (usually in Brussels). For example, for a train trip to Berlin or Dresden from Brussels, I'll first pick the train I want to Cologne, then search separately for a train from Cologne to Berlin (or Dresden). I then print out the selected itineraries and take them down to the Gare du Midi.

Because I usually travel first class and my trips usually involve a change in Cologne, which has a first class passenger lounge, I prefer relaxing in the lounge, people watching in the station, or shopping at the Douglas store to racing for a tight connection.

I'm planning a trip to Berlin and Dresden from London in June 08 with my mother...we'll Eurostar from London to Brussels, check the luggage, have lunch in Brussels, catch a train to Cologne, overnight at the Cologne station Ibis, then head out in the am to Berlin. No stress, no charging about.

PalQ, I do "blame" DB for suggesting such tight connections on its web site without posting an * that such connections aren't advisable on some routes (for example, if someone is taking two "long haul" trains...from Vienna to Cologne and then from Cologne to wherever...the longer the train ride, the more likely a tight connection might be missed).
BTilke is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Last year my overnight train from Dresden to Duisberg was more than an hour late. I missed my connection to Amsterdam but was able to catch an ICE which nearly caught up with my originally planned train.
hopscotch is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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bnm
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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If an international train is late on the crossborder part of your journey you are entitled to compensation, but only if it is more than an hour late, and the ticket cost more than €50. this is a Europewide rule - you claim your compensation by the railway that issued the ticket, and get a voucher for 20% of the price of your ticket, valid for a year.
On NS trains you are entitled to compensation if your train is more than 30 minutes late, provided your ticket cost more than €4.40 or if your train is over an hour late and the ticket cost more than €2.20. You get half the price of the ticket or the full price refunded.
In both international and NS refund policies it states that if the delay was caused by an accident, or was announced before departure you don't get anything.
I don't know if DB have something similar.

Next time you are stranded in Duisberg, or want a break there go visit the Landschaftpark:

www.landschaftspark.de/en/
hetismij is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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So lo and behold dsjewell may well be entitled to compensation but much less than he/her thinks - if the train was an hour or more late and if the duisberg-a'damned ticket was 50 euros - unlikely i think
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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No he isn't unless DB have a compensation scheme - he wasn't on the international part of his trip at that point - that only began with the train he missed in Duisberg. The compensation only applies to the train crossing a border not to the connecting trains.
I couldn't find anything on compensation on the DB site so I assume they don't pay it.
hetismij is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Is there actually a place named Duisberg in Germany? Didn't you mean Duisburg?
logos999 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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tsk tsk tsk
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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I traveled alone so I could take whatever risk I felt like with the rail system. I was told about the compensated hotel by the Dutch Customer Service rep at Urlich or something like that. I may have spelled that town wrong as well.
I honestly don't care, just telling you what they told me. As I am not a representative of the Die Bahn.
dsjewell is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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And what did the Utrrecht NS - Dutch railways say - curious

he said you could get full compensation?

I'm not doubting it just trying to understand the whole refund thing

sincerely, thanks
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Is there actually a place named Duisberg in Germany? Didn't you mean Duisburg?

Why can't the Germans spell their birks correctly?

hopscotch is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 02:00 AM
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Ok, lessons learned from this thread:

1) Trains are not always punctual. Delays are quite frequent, so you better count with possible delays.

2) Tight connections do not work if the incoming train is late. Even a small delay of, say, 7 minutes, might ruin your connection. So plan with alternatives.

3) At a certain time in the evening, the last train departs. Then service stops for several hours during nighttime - especially for cross-border trains.

4) Expect no compensation if a train is late. (There might be some compensation under certain circumstances, but it is small and complicated - better forget it.)

5) Conclusion: Plan your trip carefully and calculate with delays. When you are driving by car, there you can stick in traffic jams. If you are taking the train there might be delays and missing connections. Such is life.

6) It always helps if you can spell your destination correctly.
traveller1959 is offline  

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