Railways and trains in Germany
Germany has perhaps the most powerful and efficient railway system of the world. The railway accounts for the overwhelming majority of long-distance and suburban trips by public transport, as well as a significant part of the Intorodsky. The thick network of lines is available in most regions of the country, and the train stations are usually the main transport hubs in the cities.
Types of trains
In Germany, a rather complicated system of trains. They are divided into trunk (FernZuge or FernVerkehr) and regional and suburban (Nahverkehr). Main trains White, regional usually red.
The trunk includes:
– ICE (IntercityExpress) – high-speed (in separate areas up to 300 kilometers per hour) Express with the smallest number of stops. However, on many routes, they are no faster than other speeds.
– IC (Intercity) – fast, following large cities in Germany.
– EC (EUROCITY) – similar to intercity, but follow abroad.
– CNL (CityNightLine) – Sleeping Night Trains, most international. Lying places are only in them.
Regional and suburban include:
– Re (RegioExpress) – regional train with stops in large and medium cities.
– IRE (InterregioExpress) – a relatively rare type of trains found on certain extended routes. The rest is similar.
– RB (Regionalbahn) – Regional train with frequent stops.
– S (S-Bahn, Stadtbahn) – suburban train. The route always begins or passes through a large city and is part of a network of such lines. Often used for intracity trips, complementing or replacing the metro.
Features of motion
On most lines, the movement is very intense. All trains, except for the night, go with a clock interval. In the overwhelming majority, it will be hourly, half-hour, 20-, 15-, or 10-minute. Between nearby cities often have a choice of 5-10 flights of various trains per hour. The movement usually begins at 5-6 in the morning and ends at about midnight, on a number of routes – per hour or two later. In addition to the bedrooms, at night on some popular lines, occasionally go and ordinary day formulations.
The tariff system at first glance is also very confusing. However, if you figure it out, you can move in Germany relatively cheap.
Basic tariffs (tickets to sit on any train on the desired route and make stops in their choice) are very high. For example, the 3.5-hour moving between Berlin and Dortmund costs 86 euros in IC / EC and 98 euros in ICE. Standard ticket from Cologne to Munich (4.5-6 hours) will cost 108 euros in IC / EC and 112-142 euros in ICE. The road from Berlin to Leipzig or Dresden (1.5-2 hours) costs 40 euros in IC / EC and 47 euros in ICE. Low Cheaper and Tickets for Regional Trains. The first class is more expensive about one and a half times.
However, when buying in advance (minimum per day, but the earlier – the cheaper) discount tickets sparpreis are available. They are available for all the internal and most international routes from Germany at prices at 19, 25, 29, 35, 39, 45, 49, 55, 59, 65, 69, 75, 79 euros and so on until 119 euros (for longline routes). At the same time, the number of places for each price level in each train is limited, and tickets for 19 and 25 euros are available only for moving distance not more than 250 kilometers away.
Thus, when planning in advance the price can be knocked down several times, and in the whole country with some luck can you cross for 29 euros. But it should be borne in mind that such a ticket is valid only for the selected train. Return and exchange of these tickets is possible with a fee of the collection of 15 euros.
In the first class, SparPreis rates start from 29 euros (on routes over 250 kilometers – from 39 euros). In the booking should have at least one main train (IC, EC or ICE).
Similar system acts in night trains. For example, the standard tariff in the train Berlin – Munich is 152 euros in a seating car, 162 in a six-bed coupe, 172 in a quad kindage, 207-335 euros in various options for a bedroom carrot. When pre-purchase, the price may decrease by 2-3 times.
Buying SparPreis tickets, worth paying attention to the numerous features of the booking system WWW.Bahn.DE – the most advanced in Europe. In particular, there you can choose the type of trains – let’s say, refuse the most expensive – ICE, or even limit to the most cheapest – regional.
In addition, the passenger may indicate which station he wants to make a transplant and how much time he wants to hold there. For example, if you drive from Frankfurt to Hamburg, but on the way would wish to inspect the Cologne Cathedral, specify the need for a clock or two-hour stop in Cologne. In this case, the ticket will be united and will cost much cheaper than two separate from Frankfurt to Cologne and Cologne to Hamburg.
There are discount offers for regional trains. In particular, on any day off, you can buy wochenende-Ticket. It allows unlimited trips all day throughout Germany for 44 euros at once for five people, but only in regional trains – RE, IRE, RB and S-Bahn, as well as in urban transport.
On working days, a similar QUER-DURCHS-LAND-Ticket ticket is valid only from 9:00, and for 44 euros, only one passenger can drive, and the surcharge for each subsequent is 8 euros. In addition, any day are the same, but cheaper offers (Länder-Ticket) operate for trips within federal lands.
For a number of areas it makes sense to consider the proposals of local urban and suburban tariff systems. For example, traveling day in the VRR tariff system between Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Bochum, Wupperthal, Menhengladbach, Krev (plus Dutch Venlo and Neumingen) costs 26 euros for the first passenger and 4.5 euros for each subsequent passenger.
For most tickets there is an extra charge of 5 euros when buying at the checkout (and not on the Internet or ticket vehicle). In regional trains, it is impossible to sit without a ticket, you can buy in the trunk, but the ticket will have to buy at the full rate. In the event of a serious delay or cancellation of the flight, passengers have the right to compensate, including reimbursement of the cost of a trip on alternative transport, including taxi or hotels, if the last evening flight has been canceled.
Other favorable offers from time to time on German railways. For example, in summer, sometimes relatively cheap monthly travel. In other cases, with intensive trips or regular visits to Germany, it makes sense to consider buying a Bahncard 25 or Bahncard 50 discount card.
Another option – the All-Terrain Travel Interrail (WWW.InterRailnet.COM). His version is only for Germany Neshevayev, but it can pay off with a large number of trips. Unlike many other European countries, in Germany, passengers with InterRail are not required to pay extra for the use of high-speed trains or be sure to reserve places in them. Theoretically, the booking of a specific place in the main trains is possible for all passengers, but it makes sense only on peak flights, where there is a risk of staying without a chair.
Large stations in Germany, as a rule, work around the clock, medium and minor can close overnight. The main city station is almost always referred to as Hauptbahnhof (abbreviated HBF.). At large stations there are always many dots of food, mini-market and other. Storage cameras can cost the following, while the automatic is always cheaper than manual.