The Anonymous Widower

From Munich To Karlsruhe

After a night’s rest by the station in the excellent Excelsior Jotel, it was on to Karlsruhe in the morning.

Note.

  1. There are not many non-stop trains on this route an d my train was pretty crowded.
  2. The journey took three hours and cost thirty euros.
  3. We arrived in Karlsruhe on time.

It could easily have been done in stages with perhaps stops at Augsburg and Stuttgart.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Pizza Again Last Night

It’s not often, I’ve ate pizza two nights running, but last night I went to Pizzesco after Cielo di Berlino in Berlin.

Both were gluten-free and washed done with Lammsbrau gluten-free beer.

If you give Pizza Express 7 out of 10, then Berlin would be 8 and Munich 9 or 10.

The only trouble with Pizzesco is that it gets busier every time I go.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Excelsior In Munich Delivers

When I pass through Munich on my long trips, I generally stay in the Excelsior hotel by the Hbf (Hauptbahnhof).

  • It is about a fifty metre walk from the station entrance.
  • The hotel dies old-fashioned service at a reasonable price.
  • The rooms are spacious and comfortable.
  • It has baths.
  • It does a proper cooked breakfast.
  • It is convenient for the trams.

Once I needed a phone charger, so they sold me one for a couple of euros from their large collection guests had left behind.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

From Berlin To Munich In Four Hours By Train

The length of the East Coast Main Line between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh is 632 kilometres.

Deutsche Bahn have recently completed an upgraded High Speed Line between Berlin and Munich, which has a length of 623 kilometres.

Both lines are not the very fastest of High Speed Lines, but lines where a consistent two hundred kilometres per hour is possible.

The East Coast Main Line was built in Victorian times and services typically take around twenty minutes over four hours, with nine -car InterCity 225 trains running twice an hour.

The Berlin-Munich route was originally built over two centuries ago, but the Germans have spent twenty-five years and many billions of euros punching a new route between Berlin and Nuremberg, through the difficult countryside of Thuringen Forest.

The route may allow the Germans to travel from Berlin to Munich in three hours fifty-five minutes, but at present you can only do it three times a day in a six-car train.

I took the lunchtime train and sat in First Class for a hundred and fourteen euros.

These are some of the pictures, that I took.

We were on time in Munich! Although reading an article in the February 2018 Edition of Modern Railways and talking to other passengers, the introduction of the service had been far from smooth, due to signalling issues.

Just as British Rail’s four-hour service took passengers from the airlines, Deutsche Bahn’s intention is to do the same.

But they will have to improve things.

Service Frequency

Three six-car trains every day in under four hours is just not enough trains, to compete with the airlines.

The plans for the London to Edinburgh route include an all-day frequency of a train every thirty minutes and when the new Class 801 trains are running under control of modern signalling, then many of these trains will do the journey in under four hours.

Route Capacity

The trains need to offer more capacity to provide a service to compete with the airlines.

Customer Service

In my four-hour journey, I was offered just one hot drink! I took a cup of hot chocolate and I had to pay a few euros for it.

I’m sure, Virgin Trains East Coast offer a better service on the East Coast route.

Conclusion

Properly developed, this route can become one of Europe’s main trunk rail routes.

The Modern Railways article compares the service with the new Paris-Bordeaux High Speed Line.

Howeer, DB’s initial offering seems rather timid – 17 trains each way (compare this to the service between Paris and Bordeaux after opening of a new line in July 2017 – 27 trains each way daily!).

The article finishes with this paragraph.

When the Berlin to Nuremberg plan was being developed in the mid-1990s both the Government and DB assumed up to 137 trains each way would use the new line. It was expected the majority would be freight, with at least 20 ICE services each way as well as slower semi-fast services. Currently 35 ICE services use the full line with 18 regional services using the 20 km. section too. Freight traffic has not yet begun and seems unlikely to for several more years, if at all.

Deutsche Bahn has a lot of work to do.

If they get this service right, it must open up a lot of possibilities for new business and leisure services.

As an example, I’ve come across many Americans, Canadians and others on East Coast Main Line services, who’ve flown into Scotland and after visiting Edinburgh, London and possibly Paris, will fly back West.

Berlin to Munich must surely open up similar possibilities in Germany.

 

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

From Munich To Karlsruhe

This was very much an uneventful leg on rather a full train.

As it was raining for the first part, I didn’t take many pictures worth publicising. This is perhaps the only one worth showing.

A Karlsruhe Tram-Train At Bruchsal Station

A Karlsruhe Tram-Train At Bruchsal Station

It shows an tram-train, probably on the run from Karlsruhe at Bruchsal station.

It is actually an S32, which has a route of.

Achern – Baden-Baden – Rastatt – Muggensturm – Hauptbahnhof – Durlach – Bruchsal – Menzingen

I reckon that’s a total distance of nearly a hundred kilometres, which goes right across Karlsruhe, although it goes via Duurlack and Hauptbahnhof, rather than along the main street.

Karlsruhe’s tram-trains certainly have strong invasion tendencies.

May 14, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Tram Map In Munich

When it comes to local transport and walking maps, it’s a case of the bigger the better.

A Large Munich Tram Map

A Large Munich Tram Map

This was in the tram information centre in Munich Hauptbahnhof.

Every main station should have a local transport information centre and the largest map possible.

At the station, I also took this picture.

Tram Sign In Munich

Tram Sign In Munich

I was going for supper and I needed to get a tram 16 to St. Emmeram, which would drop me in the area of one of the best gluten-free pizzadromes in Europe; Pizzesco.

So what could go wrong?

There was a demonstration in the area and the trams stopped running, leaving me in a part of MunichI didn’t know!

Although, Pizzesco was very crowded and I had to wait, I eventually got my delicious pizza and a bottle of gluten-free beer.

Coming back to my hotel, I eventually found a tram outside the Deutsche Museum.

May 13, 2016 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

From Villach To Munich

This section of route had the major stop at Salzburg.

It was still raining, but at least I was clean and dry in First Class.

It would have been a much better trip in the sun, as for a lot of the route, the train runs on the Tauern Railway 

Even my wet pictures show how spectacular it could be.

May 13, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trafalgar Square In Yellow

Although last night was quiet, that couldn’t be said for lunch-time today.

but where were all the Bayern fans. Perhaps, as they have been described as the Manchester United of Germany, they were all in their hotels and restaurants, stuffing themselves with the German equivalent of prawn sandwiches!

May 25, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | 1 Comment

The Sleeper From Munich To Paris

It takes over ten hours, but as I wanted to be back in London in time to get to Ipswich for the Hull game on Saturday, it was the only way I could do it.

I had booked the sleeper on Deutsche Bahn’s excellent web site at bahn.de. I had a self-printed paper ticket, that worked well. These are some of the pictures I took on the journey.

We arrived in Paris on time at 09:30.  I had slept reasonably well.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Problems Of Eating On The Move For A Coeliac In Germany

Just because I’m a coeliac, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to eat gluten-free food on the move.

In the UK, there are a lot of options.

I can get gluten-free bars like EatNakd or Eat Natural in many places.

At stations, there is usually a good choice at Marks and Spencer of various snacks, which often include sandwiches.

There is also the coffee chains, like Starbucks, where I can usually find a bite of something.

And on top of that most pubs can probably rustle up something to go with half of decent cider or a glass of wine.

But in Germany, I found little to eat on the move.

As I returned from Ulm, I was very hungry, as I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. But there was nothing obvious at the station.  So I looked at this vending machine.

Vending Machine At Ulm Station

Vending Machine At Ulm Station

I got a bag of crisps, which at least said they were glutenfrei.

Note though there is only one flavour in the machine and they were paprika.  But I was so hungry, that I ate three packets.

Back in Munich, I had time to kill, as the sleeper to Paris didn’t leave until 22:50.

I should have done the sensible thing and go to the pizza restaurant, but I thought that I’d find something. I did and it was this salad.

A Revolting Salad At Munich Station

A Revolting Salad At Munich Station

It was one of the most revolting I’ve ever tried to eat. Especially, as the only implements were my fingers. The picture doesn’t really do justice to the salad and especially the cheese and ham mixture on the top.  Alternative layers of revolting cheese and ham had been sandwiched together and sliced up.  In the end I gave up and put it in a bin.

I should have been entitled as I was on a First Class sleeper, to use of the DB Lounge. But after installing myself there at about 20:50, I was promptly turfed out, as it shuts at 21:00.  So I was left to fend for myself in the cold for nearly two hours.

Incidentally, I could have gone back to the hotel and its warm bar, but there had been an altercation in the subway linking the station to the city centre, so I had to stay put.

It was then, that I met half a dozen Watford supporters on a stag do. They were trying to buy a sausage without bread from a fast food stall and not getting much joy, as apparently, it was against the rules. They were just getting fed up with their restricted diet of beer, bread and sausage.

I had been in Germany for two days, and I’d never found anything acceptable to eat on the move.

If it hadn’t been for the wonderful pizza, I might have starved. I can’t live by coffee with two sugars alone.

I think the rule is you must plan, where you are going to eat. Germany doesn’t seem to be like the UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

On the other hand, I tried to plan at Ulm and that didn’t work out! Years ago, I didn’t plan in Berlin, but the hotel was good and sorted out two of the best gluten-free restaurants I ever went to with C.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | 6 Comments