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European Railroad Discussion > NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich


Date: 01/17/24 11:53
NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: geoffherrig

Hi folks,

I'm trying to decide whether to suggest to my family, and my brother's family, whether we should travel from Hamburg to Zurich via Nightjet or take an actual jet.  My brother's family are not small people.  One thing I'm trying to determine is if the new equipment will be on this route during our trip in late July, and I can't tell from the Nightjet website if that is the case.  

Of course, being a railfan I'd love to take the trip during daylight hours on the train, but am not sure my family wants to spend a day in Europe in this way.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Geoff



Date: 01/18/24 09:54
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: rosenth

Hi,

at the moment the Nightjet service is not very reliable. On one hand Deutsche Bahn which is in deep troubles and worse than AMTRAK in cancelling trains and running late (I rode AMTRAK last summer coast to coast). AFAIK, Hamburg-Zürich does not have the new sleepers. I took this train also last year – when arriving at the station the sleeper car has been bad ordered and I stayed awake in a normal seat....

I'm a great friend of overnight trains but at the moment unfortunaly I avoid Nighjets – especially if they run through Germany (as I avoid all travelling by train in Germany at the Moment).

Sorry for the bad news, but unfortunately take easyjet or another airline – Your familiy will be thankful...

Lukas (Basel/Switzerland)



Date: 01/19/24 04:16
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: 86235

I'd recommend doing the journey during the day, you get to see Germany almost from end to end, including the Rhine Valley, you will stop in some of Germany's fabulous cities and you'll see a big of Switzerland at the end. Timekeeping may be a bit spotty, but as dwatry demonstrated in his Prague to Paris journey DB can run trains reliably on time.



Date: 01/19/24 08:46
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: geoffherrig

Thank you rosenth and 86235 for the information, it does help me plan this trip.  Likely we will fly to Switzerland and then see if we can work in the Rhein Strecke on another portion of the trip.  Vielen Dank GH



Date: 01/19/24 12:22
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: DutchDragon

As the others said Deutsche Bahn is a far cry from the old Deutsche Bundesbahn you could set your watch with. Within the past year traveling with DB more than half of my trips have had some sort of problem. These can be anything from a short delay causing a missed connection to trains that just disappear. And the railroad staff are overwhelmed with these problems and are not as helpful as they could be. If you're traveling with non railroad people I would not recommend a long distance trip through Germany because they won't find the delays and cancellations to be amusing or entertaining like railroad enthusiasts do.



Date: 01/20/24 20:33
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: Steinzeit2

DutchDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As the others said Deutsche Bahn is a far cry from
> the old Deutsche Bundesbahn you could set your
> watch with. ........

What, in your opinion and with the restrictions of "the Internet police", are the reasons for this ?

Best regards, SZ




Date: 01/21/24 02:29
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: engineerinvirginia

I would be willing to bet that the Eureopean system of open access....any train can run on any railroad supposedly....joe blow's express from Frankfurt to Munich, Hansl's sleeper service, get on anywhere go anywhere...if you got the time. And there's plenty more, and probably freight too....so all these company's want to run a train at a convenient time....boarding and offboarding at convenient places. Who's going to schedule all that? Who's going to make that schedule work? Who's going to run each train? Who's responsible for paying those crews? Open access like they do it over there is a disaster....we don't do it over here much if at all....but if we do....it better be way different. 



Date: 01/21/24 04:42
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: DutchDragon

Steinzeit2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> DutchDragon Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > As the others said Deutsche Bahn is a far cry
> from
> > the old Deutsche Bundesbahn you could set your
> > watch with. ........
>
> What, in your opinion and with the restrictions of
> "the Internet police", are the reasons for this ?
>
> Best regards, SZ

The short answer is in 1994 Germany changed the government owned Deutsche Bundesbahn to the private comapany Deutsche Bahn AG. Profit became the main objective instead of providing service so things like maintenance and staffing were cut back. Compounding the problem is the retirement of many experienced railroad workers and the new generation of workers are unable or unwilling to learn how to do things. But this answer is oversimplified and can be discussed forever.

I should add you have good tastes by posting a photo of 2 BR 103 locomotives which were the best and most iconic electric locomotives the Deutsche Bundesbahn ever owned.



Date: 01/21/24 07:55
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: 3rdboxcar

engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would be willing to bet that the Eureopean
> system of open access....any train can run on any
> railroad supposedly....joe blow's express from
> Frankfurt to Munich, Hansl's sleeper service, get
> on anywhere go anywhere...if you got the time. And
> there's plenty more, and probably freight
> too....so all these company's want to run a train
> at a convenient time....boarding and offboarding
> at convenient places. Who's going to schedule all
> that? Who's going to make that schedule work?
> Who's going to run each train? Who's responsible
> for paying those crews? Open access like they do
> it over there is a disaster....we don't do it over
> here much if at all....but if we do....it better
> be way different. 

I think your assesment is a bit uninformed, you just cannot turn up with a train and want to run it, every line has a number of paths to run a train and who gets to run on that path is worked out months in advance [even freight], unused paths can be filled right up to the moment, normally with freight. Rail operators know how much train crew are needed, when their paths are confirmed and train crew know well in advance when they will be at work. Crews overnighting are rare.
Europe and the US operate two completely different railways, Europe is predominately passenger and the US predomiately freight.



Date: 01/22/24 10:40
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: SOO6617

engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would be willing to bet that the Eureopean
> system of open access....any train can run on any
> railroad supposedly....joe blow's express from
> Frankfurt to Munich, Hansl's sleeper service, get
> on anywhere go anywhere...if you got the time. And
> there's plenty more, and probably freight
> too....so all these company's want to run a train
> at a convenient time....boarding and offboarding
> at convenient places. Who's going to schedule all
> that? Who's going to make that schedule work?
> Who's going to run each train? Who's responsible
> for paying those crews? Open access like they do
> it over there is a disaster....we don't do it over
> here much if at all....but if we do....it better
> be way different. 

Others have pointed out your misinformed impression
of how the railways work in Europe, Iwill add a bit more
information.

First to operate a train in Europe you need a license. To
get the license you are going to need people with experience
in management of railways like a RFE in the US with actual
experience. The equivilent of a Superintendent, basically you
are going to have to raid one of the national operators for a
cadre of employees, or you are going to have to contract out 
operating employees from one of the big companies that provide
such services. Next you will have to go to one or more of the
big leasing companies for a locomotive and possibly cars.
Once you have that arranged you can acuire the rights to a
path to operate your train, unless the customer already has a
path that you can use. Customers like BASF and other big
companies own their own train paths. The big Intermodal
operators, like Hupac, and Kombiverkehr own their paths, and
just contract with a Railway Operator to move their trains.
If you want an explaination of how train paths work just ask.



Date: 01/22/24 12:40
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: rosenth

IMHO, It's quite simple, there are 2 main factors:

1) Deutsche Bahn was privatized in order to go public in the stock markets. Everything has been done to cut costs, and Deutsche Bahn AG invested and lost a lot of many in foreign "adventures"...(Ireland, Ireland, Africa,....)

2) Germany (German state) invests about 1/3 of money per mile that (for example) Switzerland does

The result is a worn out and outdated  infrastructure where every redundancy (e.g. switches for track change etc.) has been eliminated. Combine this with the german bureau-crazy (which is just ridiculous). I live in Basel which sits on the border. Many german people work in Switzerland. They are all astound that a modern state does function quite well with just a fraction of bureaucracy they are used to...

For me it's always shocking to see Germany which was a corner stone of Europen Entrepreneurship and quality to become a nation that becomes les and les reliable. It makes me sad...



Date: 01/25/24 11:19
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: TAW

SOO6617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Others have pointed out your misinformed
> impression
> of how the railways work in Europe, Iwill add a
> bit more
> information.
>
> First to operate a train in Europe you need a
> license. To
> get the license you are going to need people with
> experience
> in management of railways like a RFE in the US
> with actual
> experience. The equivilent of a Superintendent,
> basically you
> are going to have to raid one of the national
> operators for a
> cadre of employees, or you are going to have to
> contract out 
> operating employees from one of the big companies
> that provide
> such services. Next you will have to go to one or
> more of the
> big leasing companies for a locomotive and
> possibly cars.
> Once you have that arranged you can acuire the
> rights to a
> path to operate your train, unless the customer
> already has a
> path that you can use. Customers like BASF and
> other big
> companies own their own train paths. The big
> Intermodal
> operators, like Hupac, and Kombiverkehr own their
> paths, and
> just contract with a Railway Operator to move
> their trains.
> If you want an explaination of how train paths
> work just ask.

Directly from the #1 end of the horse: https://www.dbinfrago.com/web-en/rail-network/network_statement/Network-Statement-2024-12541132#

This is the current Network Statement that provides the terms and conditions for running a train in Germany. Every EU country issues one of them as part of the Open Access arrangement (established by EC legislation).

This is the arrangement I am promoting for the US rail network.

What effect did it have in Germany? It increased traffic by 100 percent over a decade. It was vastly more successful than anyone expected causing a condition of not enough track for all the trains. There is a huge nationwide construction program that is working at fixing the problem. In the meantime, there are the Gemrman equivalent of Form B, slow orders, and tracks out of service as part of building more.

If only we could experience such a failure.

Engineers - different story. They work for a train company, just like the rails here. Months ago, the government told rails they can't strike. The German government can't do that.

If only we had such a terrible system.

TAW



Date: 01/26/24 10:25
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: 86235

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> What effect did it have in Germany? It increased
> traffic by 100 percent over a decade. It was
> vastly more successful than anyone expected
> causing a condition of not enough track for all
> the trains. There is a huge nationwide
> construction program that is working at fixing the
> problem. In the meantime, there are the Gemrman
> equivalent of Form B, slow orders, and tracks out
> of service as part of building more.
>
> If only we could experience such a failure.
>
> TAW

Possibly the principal reason why DB's punctuality is so spotty. Certainly in my travels in Germany in early September it did seem that the biggest problem the network faced was too many trains competing for space on too little track.



Date: 01/28/24 09:57
Re: NIghtjet question Hamburg-Zurich
Author: Steinzeit2

TAW Wrote:

> What effect did it have in Germany? It increased
> traffic by 100 percent over a decade. It was
> vastly more successful than anyone expected
> causing a condition of not enough track for all
> the trains. There is a huge nationwide
> construction program that is working at fixing the
> problem. In the meantime, there are the Gemrman
> equivalent of Form B, slow orders, and tracks out
> of service as part of building more.
>
TAW:  What is your source for that "100%" statement ?  Is it expressed in passenger-km, freight-km, train-km ?  Are passenger statistics broken down by major segment ?  Are you claiming that all of this increase is due to the separation of infrastructure from operators ? 

SZ



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