At the moment there are some bus replacements operating on this service, so many journeys aren’t as complex as the one which we had to get from Luxembourg to Bonn.
The train tickets were Sparpreis, cheaper advance saver tickets. The German pricing structure for rail tickets is complex and there are all manner of quirks, expensive prices and discounts available, but the Sparpreis tickets from Luxembourg to Bonn were under €40 each return.
Our connections were:
13:33 – 14:56 Luxembourg to Wittlich
15:06 – 16:31 Wittlich to Koblenz
17:13 – 17:44 Koblenz to Bonn
This sounds relatively complex, although the journey back was worse, but more about that later on…..
Some trains in Luxembourg railway station, I always like the look of these TGV trains. Not that we were getting them, they were a bit expensive compared to our complex routings with Deutsche Bahn….
The first train was operated by CFL (the Luxembourg rail company) and the second and third trains by Deutsche Bahn.
It was a double decker train (Dylan would have liked that….) and was sufficiently spacious and had power points, although no wi-fi. It was on this journey which crossed from Luxembourg into Germany that I discovered that for some reason my phone didn’t want to connect to Vodafone Deutschland.
Nathan’s adapter, the clunky looking thing at the back, for his Nokia 3310 seemed to take up about two feet of space……
The bus section of the trip was relatively eventful as there was some shouty man on board who seemed to want to cause a disturbance. A member of rail staff who was travelling with the coach did stand up and shout back at the man, which was all rather exciting. I like a bit of drama on my bus replacement services. Although I needed drama since I didn’t have any Internet connection, which was proving to be quite a challenge for me.
Disembarking from the bus.
It’s not very clear from the photo, but the police met the shouty man at Koblenz to ask him some questions….
Koblenz railway station. The city is of relevance to Norwich, as the two are twinned. Not wishing to score cheap points, but Norwich’s railway station is significantly better in terms of facilities and staffing. Although it doesn’t have a McDonald’s, so I think I prefer Koblenz. Or at least I do until Norwich railway station gets a Greggs.
After a quick trip to McDonald’s, it was time to get the last section of the trip from Koblenz to Bonn. Facilities at the railway were limited and the toilets were chargeable.
The delights of Koblenz railway station platforms.
These boards were of limited use, as our train details fell off the screen after its expected departure time had passed. There was information in the app, but it was total nonsense, at one stage telling us to change to platform 5, and then a few minutes later stating it was platform 3. Deutsche Bahn, if I’m being honest, have a shocking lack of customer service staff and it’s noticeable from being used to UK stations how poorly they handle customer issues. There was no-one to ask, but to cut a long story short, our train came in around 45 minutes late.
On the bright side, and as can be seen from the above photo, all the freight trains that came rushing by didn’t seem to have been impeded. And, it was extra excitement for waiting passengers who thought that the arriving train might actually be a passenger train to get them to their destination.
Eventually our train to Bonn arrived and it was relatively quiet, so it was easy to get a seat. Certainly Deutsche Bahn need to work on the cleanliness of their trains as well.
And safely into Bonn ready for our one-day adventure there….. It’s a shame that the app was of limited use during the disruption, as it would have been enormously useful to have information about what to do. Rolling delays are the most frustrating, as it’s not possible to sit somewhere in the warm until the train arrives, it just involves standing on the platform to see what rolls up.