The Anonymous Widower

Baden-Württemberg Backs Battery Mireos

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

The Land of Baden-Württemberg has decided to order a fleet of 20 Mireo battery-electric multiple units from Siemens Mobility to operate the Netz 8 Ortenau package of regional lines, the state government announced on August 2.

Routes to be operated include.

Reading about the area, it could be a nice place to go for an explore.

But it also could be the sort of area, that is ideal for battery-electric trains.

Germany Is Going Green In Local Rail Services

There have been other stories of hydrogen and battery-electric trains in Germany.

Manufacturers involved include Alstom, Bombardier, Rolls-Royce MTU, Siemens and Stadler.

Who will win the battle of zero-carbon technologies?

My money is on a new design of train, that is built specifically around battery or hydrogen technology.

  • I’m sure Bombardier’s Aventras use battery technology, as an integral part of their excellent design.
  • Stadler’s launch of the Class 755 train, shows they’ve got a top-of-the-range platform on which to install battery or hydrogen power.

Will Siemens battery-powered Mireo be another challenger.

 

 

August 6, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Rip-Off Ticketing At Bremen Hauptbahnhof

I am experienced user of Deutsche Bahn and generally buy my tickets at one of their reliable machines.

Note that queuing up at a Ticket Office sometimes takes up to thirty minutes and quite frankly I have better and more important thingfs to do with my life.

This picture shows a typical German ticket.

The two stations; Buxtehude and Cuxhaven are clearly shown.

But imagine my surprise at Bremen Hauptbahnhof, when the ticket machine dispensed this.

It is about one by four centimetres and the only readable writing on the front is EErw.

  • Does it look like a ticket to you?
  • There were no notices up about the change of ticket.
  • How do you sort out today’s ticket from yesterday’s?
  • What if you’re partially sighted?

I thought the machine had failed and curt off the ticket early.

So I tried again. With the same result!

I then tried the Ticket Office for an explanation, but the guy just played stumm, as Deutsche Bahn employees always do, when they know, there’s been a customer relations failure.

I did ascertain, that I had to put the ticket in a machine to validate it before travelling.

I did think about not doing this, so that I would get arrested on the train, but in the end, I can’t remember whether I did.

However, as tickets were not checked on the train, it didn’t matter.

It is the most arrogant system of ticketing I’ve ever found.

When I got home, I found I had been charge for two tickets.

My bank;Nationwide are trying to refuse one of the psyments.

I’ll update this post, to give you the result of their argument.

 

 

 

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Finance, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

From Groningen To Leer By Train

On my recent trip to the Netherlands and Germany, I didn’t get to do this trip by train and had to make do with a slow bus ride.

However I’ve just found this video on YouTube.

The Freisenbrücke is about an hour from the start of the video.

I should fast forward, as there is only so much travelling on a single-track rail line, that you can watch before falling asleep.

I got this impression of the route in the video, which was made in October 2014.

  • The route is mainly single-track, with some passing loops at stations.
  • the track is not electrified, except for short sections at either end.
  • The track was almost straight.
  • The track, stations and signalling appear to be in good condition.
  • There were a large number of level crossings.
  • The train took around one hour and twenty minutes between Groningen and Leer stations.

I can imagine that Deutsche Bahn and Arriva Netherlands were a good bit more and just annoyed, when the MV Emsmoon destroyed the bridge.

Wikipedia says this about the accident.

On 3 December 2015, Emsmoon collided with the Friesenbrücke [de], which carries the Ihrhove–Nieuweschans railway over the Ems. The cause of the accident was reported to be miscommunication between the bridge operator and pilot on board the ship. The bridge could not be raised as a train was due, but the ship failed to stop and collided with the bridge, blocking both railway and river.[4] The bridge was so severely damaged that it will have to be demolished. Replacement is expected to take five years

I suspect, it’s not just an massive inconvenience for the railway, as a couple of miles South on the River Ems, is the Meyer Werft shipyard, where cruise ships up to 180,000 tonnes are built.

I found this document on the NDR.de web site and gleaned the following information.

  • The cost of rebuilding could be up to eight million euros.
  • The new bridge will be finished in 2024, if all goes well.
  • Environmentalists are bringing lawsuits against the construction of the bridge.

It will be a challenge to rebuild this bridge.

This video shows the new bridge

Let’s hope that one of those large cruise ships dopesn’t hit the bridge.

Conclusion

This surely has been a very costly acciodent.

 

April 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Bremen Hauptbahnhof To Buxtehude

This should have been an easy journey with a change at Bremerhaven Hbf.

But it wasn’t and I had a nearly eighty minute wai at Bremerhaven.

If this sort of ptoblem had occured with most railway conpanies, you’d have got accurate updates and information, but even though there were some announcements, even the German passengers were confused.

I temember one incident on Greater Anglia on an extremely windy day, when a tree brought the overhead wires down at Chelmsford. Station staff at Colchester were handing out refund forms and I got refunded my trip back to Liverpool Street.

But where were the Germans?

Nowhere to be seen for a start!

I thought EU regulations laid down a tefund policy, if trains were late.

When I got to Buxtehude, a fellow passenger told me there had been signalling problems.

How do I claim my refund?

March 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Oldenburg Station

Oldenburg station caught my eye as I passed through.

It’s good to see a new well-designed timber roof.

Having read the Wikipedia entry for the station, it appears that Oldenburg could have been an ideal place for a pit-stop.

March 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

An Uncomfortable Seat

The Germans don’t encourage you to sit down in stations and this seat at Bremerhaven Hauptbahnhof is typical. That’s if there are any seats!

I think I’ll take a blow-up cushion on my next trip to Germany! Or on Thameslink!

March 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Germany Agrees To End Reliance On Coal Stations By 2038

The title of this post, is the same as this article on the Guardian.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Germany has agreed to end its reliance on polluting coal power stations by 2038, in a long-awaited decision that will have major ramifications for Europe’s attempts to meet its Paris climate change targets.

The country is the last major bastion of coal-burning in north-western Europe and the dirtiest of fossil fuels still provides nearly 40% of Germany’s power, compared with 5% in the UK, which plans to phase the fuel out entirely by 2025.

Travel across Germany on a train and you see the high chimneys of coal-fired power stations everywhere.

When we can get rid of coal by 2025 and France by 2022, you do wonder why Germany is taking so long.

The Guardian article provides a partial answer in that both the power company; RWE and the trade unions are very much for the continued use of coal.

The Germans are phasing out nuclear power, in response to the Green Party. Surely, unregulated coal-burning is far worse than well-regulated nuclear power?

But then the prevailing winds mean that most of the carbon-dioxide and pollution goes to Poland, who are big coal-burners themselves.

I wonder what would have happened to coal-fired power stations in the UK, if Margaret Thatcher hadn’t taken on the miners and started the run down of the use of coal!

The can would probably have been kicked down the road and we’d probably have coal power stations at German levels.

 

 

January 30, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Train Operation Planned

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

The Länder of Brandenburg and Berlin are planning the joint award of a contract for the development and operation of hydrogen fuel cell powered trains on the RB27 Heidekrautbahn route.

According to Wikipedia, the Heidekrautbahn looks to be an interesting rail line, which is used a lot for leisure and museum (heritage) trains.

Wikipedia also says this about the hydrogen trains.

At the end of 2017, considerations were presented for a pilot project to deploy four Coradia iLint vehicles manufactured by Alstom on the heather track, switching part of the rail service from diesel to hydrogen . This would take about 165 tons of hydrogen, reduce diesel consumption by about 552,000 liters and thus reduce the emission of CO 2 by about 2.5 million kg per year. In the case of a grant commitment, use from 2020 would be conceivable.

Note that this was translated by Google from the Wikipedia entry, which was in German.

The Railway Gazette article states that the trains will run from 2022.

So it looks like the Germans will be making haste slowly on this project.

 

 

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November 23, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Relaxed Pace Of German Commuter Stations

I am at Buxtehade station on the outskirts of Hamburg and the area looks like it could be a suburb typical of those around big cities all over the world. But it is so relaxed compared to others I’ve visited.

Note.

  1. The diesel-hauled commuter service running under wires.
  2. No-one and the trains don’t seem to be in a hurry despite it being around nine in the morning.
  3. Trains seem to wait several minutes at each station.
  4. Staff were not to be seen.

In addition, there was absolutely no information about the hydrogen trains, that I could find.

 

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Engine Change At Bad Bentheim

I’m on a train frim Amsterdam to Osnabruck. The train, which goes all the way to Berlin, is not very fast, but they’ve now stopped for ten minutes, whilst the Dutch engine is changed for a German one! Can’t both railway companies use the dame Euro-blighter and just have a change of drivers, as we do on Anglo-Scottish services.

Surely, these are the problems that the EU should solve. Or do German and Dutch rail unions make the RMT look like pussy-cats?

October 11, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments