Report: db car train

Overnight non-stop from hamburg to bolzano by motorcycle – the DB Autozug makes it possible. A bahn-vielfahrer who had mutated into a bahn-hater in his daily business tried out whether this was really such a great idea.

I don’t spend my meager free time as a model railroad collector or train spotter. I never wanted to be a locomotive driver either. The bahn is a purely pragmatic matter for me. One thing I have learned to hate as a commuter: I only say "delayed provision" or "delays in the operational process". It may be that the club is on time 80 percent of the time – I catch the remaining 20 percent on every second tour. I would never have thought of taking the train on vacation in a thousand cold winters. Never!

Until i met olaf gebauer at intermot 2012. Olaf is responsible for marketing and sales at DB autozug gmbh, so he must think rail travel is great purely for his job and tell everyone that too. But olaf is also a motorcyclist who has nothing at all to do with the dyed-in-the-wool old-bundesbahner’s style. and olaf spoke fateful words: "before i start texting you here, just try the thing out. let’s make a tour with the motorcycles and by car train."

keep your head down – otherwise loading is completely unspectacular

a good half year later we meet on a friday afternoon at the check-in of hamburg-altona train station. Olaf comes with his yamaha XJR 1300 from dortmund, the seat of DB autozug gmbh. I arrived from stuttgart with the dauertest-honda CBR 600 F. next night we want to travel together via car train to bozen/italia. Besides us, six scandinavians and one englishman would like to travel to south tyrol by car train with motorcycle. 25 car drivers and their families – mostly retirees and families, along with classic car owners and motorcyclists, the typical car train target groups – are also drawn to the spring sunshine. In hildesheim, we will get another motorcycle and eleven cars, which makes a total of 90 passengers who can be looked after by seven railroad employees on the way.

But we are not that far yet, first of all the vehicles have to be loaded onto the transport wagons – for car train newcomers a certain challenge, at least head-wise. And this in the truest sense of the word, because a clearance height of 1.58 meters means that helmets are compulsory during loading. "take off your tank bag, i’ll take care of it for you" – this tip from loadmaster nils lubbert should be followed, because every centimeter of headroom is worth its weight in gold. Otherwise the loading is completely unspectacular. And also the lashing of the motorcycles – for car-train-freshmen like me perhaps the biggest worry point – works completely problem-free and above all damage-free. You can clearly see that nils and his guys have been doing this job for a while now.

a couchette has something of youth hostel charm with the corresponding party potential

while our motorcycles were still parked in the middle of the altona train station (and thus in the direct travel beer access area), the men attached four strap loops to each of them, into which the tension straps would later be hung. if you want, you can also give the loading staff some very personal fixing tips, that’s quite appreciated. But you can also leave it completely to the professionals, which was no mistake with our motorcycles and the bikes of our fellow travelers: the treasures stand bomb-proof and scratch-free on their side stands.

It’s time to head for the mobile overnight option. Olaf has booked two alternatives for us: a couchette and a sleeper car – "you should get to know everything." three quarters of the passengers chose the air-conditioned, rustic and cozy couchette car. It is simply more favorable. And at least for group dynamic motorcyclists also much more fun. during the day it is a normal five-seater compartment, at night the beds are folded down. WC and shower at the end of the wagon – something of youth hostel charm with the corresponding party potential.

I have never experienced such a relaxed climate as in the DB DB Autozug on the "normal" railroad

If you want something more luxurious, choose the sleeper car. These are usually three-person compartments, some of which can be extended into a suite via an intermediate door. Washing facilities, breakfast and a welcome red wine are included. The car will be ready for departure at 18 p.m. on the day of the accident.20 o’clock josef peter, native Hungarian, learned blacksmith and for approximately 30 years for the German course next on the way. Josef is the type of "soul of man and perfect host". He is humorous, incredibly relaxed and still in a good mood late at night.

And Josef is no exception, which brings me to the most surprising aspect of my car train premiere: I don’t want to offend my colleagues in the DB long-distance business, who presumably work just as hard, but I have never experienced such a relaxed atmosphere as in the DB car train on the "normal" railroad. Is it perhaps because the car-train crowd is in a vacation mood? Or because, thanks to certain travel time reserves, not every minute counts when traveling through the night, and arriving in bolzano at 9 a.m. is not a problem.48 o’clock the next morning nevertheless super punctually fails? Anyway, I find myself spending much more time than the usual 30 minutes during the day with olaf in the dining car, not getting angry about the microwave fried potatoes of the "bauernpfanne" (6.60 euros) and enjoying much more than a tasty wheat beer (0.5 l for 4.20 euros) for it.

The keywords fuel and hotel costs, tolls and square tires

Olaf tells me about the challenges of the DB DB Autozug business, about the strong seasonal fluctuations, about loss-making connections and the associated terminal closures, about the price driver of international rail costs (an example: each train to narbonne costs a considerable five-digit euro amount in france alone), but also about a very loyal regular customer base and, of course, about the tangible DB Autozug advantages starting at a boarding price of 99 euros. the key words are among others gasoline and hotel costs, tolls and square tires.

We move the theme car train up and down and back again. And then we just shut up and look out the window of the food truck for a long time. The landscape passes by, much slower than on the ICE. The night falls, the next wheat is in the works. And i, an old train hater, suddenly find train travel really great. That sounds corny? It is kitschy. But why shouldn’t a vacation start kitschy?? Or even the end – olaf and I put it to the test the next day. on a motorcycle from bolzano to munich and from there back to hamburg overnight by car train. Josef is called petra this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.