German Train System: Deutsche Bahn (DB)

Travels in Germany: The Deutsche Bahn Trains

Introduction




The Deutsche Bahn trains are a great way to travel around Germany. They're comfortable and reliable, and the ticket prices make sense. The only drawback is that some train stations can be really big, and they are hard to navigate. After a while, you will get used to the visually oriented signage, and you will get used to the layout and standard amenities, all have a late grocery market that is open on Sunday and a pharmacy that is open on Sunday. In large cities like Berlin, it is full-sized supermarkets like Rewe and Netto Discount Grocery that are operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


The trains in Germany are clean and comfortable, the schedules are accurate and accessible, the ticket plans and prices make sense.


Perhaps the greatest thing about Deutsche Bahn trains is that they are clean, comfortable, and accessible to people with disabilities, but that accessibility comes with the caveat of going through their handicapped reservation and concierge service on to the train. Once you go through the right procedure a day in advance and you arrive a half hour before your train, you will be fine. Be sure to check in with the information desk as soon as you arrive. They will give you a place and time to meet the handicapped concierge team on your designated train platform. They will meet you ten or fifteen minutes before departure. They will get you and your baggage safely on trains of any height. There is no cost for this service, and the comfort and convenience are a must. The train stations in Germany are also moderately clean and easy to navigate. There are elevators going up to each platform for the handicapped. For others there are usually escalators as well in the larger cities.

The schedules on the Deutsche Bahn website are accurate, even though sometimes it’s hard to find all of the travel details you need. The ticket plans and prices make sense as well; you can get an all-around pass for an entire month for 9 Euros for all bus and train rides except the ICE Bullet Train. On the ICE Bullet Train, the handicapped can only book a ticket in second class. However one adult going along with a wheelchair gets a free ride. There is a food car with limited beer, coffee, juice, and water offerings for beverages, and sandwiches, cake, and yogurt for food.


There is one caveat: People who have a disability or other physical impairment may have trouble using these trains because they require that someone make an appointment before boarding them (this includes wheelchairs) Get your ticket a few days in advance, go to the reservations section, and buy your tickets there with reserved seat for the handicapped as well as the booking of the concierge team to help you and your baggage on the train. You will get free passage for one adult attendant per wheelchair. Be sure not to book First Class seats, as wheelchairs are forbidden from First Class in Germany. Second class tickets provide clean and comfortable seating. The First Class has Maybach style captains chairs that recline upholstered in luxurious leather, and the conductor will bring you refreshments to your seat. The speed is projected into the cabin on a hologram: the number just hangs in the air, and it goes over 300 kph (180 mph) at times! This is equally thrilling in Second Class, and it is almost as comfortable but with slightly less room, upholstery and levity. In first class, the conductors will bring you refreshments as well as taking your ticket.


For Handicapped accessibility on Deutsche Bahn, here is some important information: "In order for our employees to be able to adapt to you, we recommend that you register this service by 8 pm the day before the trip at the latest. Assistance abroad requires 48 hours in advance." - Deutsche Bahn MSZ


Your contact to the MSZ

  • Telephone: 030 65212888

  • fax: 030 65212899

  • Email: msz@deutschebahn.com


I was not informed about what the MSZ can do in advance, and that caused travel difficulties. Do not expect other Deutsche Bahn Help people to help you with your handicapped needs or to find these people. Contact them, and let them help with the whole process from buying the tickets and getting the right seat reservations to thorough instructions. They will also be able to help you with train changes including making certain you and your baggage make it onto the train you need. They can even hold the train for you to make sure you don't miss it. Don't miss working with the MSZ if you have a mobility impairment: they are really wonderful. We did not know at first about them, and the initial trip was terrible because of it. After we learned to contact the MSZ, travel was easy and safe even with a wheelchair passenger and nineteen suitcases. You will travel more easily and cheaply if you accept their help from the beginning. Unlike the train, the Bus and Streetcar systems in Germany are ready to take wheelchair and walker passengers at any time without announcement, much as it is in America. If you have a mobility impairment, and you fail to contact the MSZ for your travel, the rest of Deutsche Bahn will not be sympathetic to your plight, so contact them early and often.


I'm able to get on and off the train with only moderate hassle. Sometimes there's a moderate gap on one side, and almost never none at all.


The train is equipped with a handrail, which you can use to pull yourself onto the train. The gap can be large. Wheelchair users will need to pre-arrange with the Wheelchair Service Concierge at least three days in advance. One will also have to check in a half hour before the train to arrange your meeting with the Concierge team on the platform. The gap is huge, and the train will not wait. If you have no handicapped reservation, the conductor will not allow you on an ICE train unless they have special written orders from the Stationmaster. It is best to simply go to the Reservations Department at Deutsche Bahn three days in advance, knowing the ICE train number and departure time. Again, be sure to buy a class two ticket for wheelchair use, and one attendant comes free. If you are not handicapped, do take advantage of the First Class. The seating is far better including reclining captain's lounge chair seating with refreshment service and tray tables. It has the feeling of First Class on an Airline but in a train. The holographic projection of the speed as well as the smoothness of the ride and the fast-streaming scenery screeching by at over three hundred kilometers per hour adds to the high-tech spacecraft feel.


The train stations in cities like Berlin, Erfurt, and Hamburg are HUGE; it's not easy to get from point A to point B.


It is not impossible to find your way around the train stations in Berlin and Hamburg during busy times when unfamiliar, but it is daunting. They are huge and confusing, and it's not easy to get from point A to point B. The trains themselves are clean but there is nowhere for you to store your luggage when you're not on board, so it's best if you plan accordingly by leaving extra time before boarding just in case your train gets delayed or you need more time than expected at the platform waiting for another train.


It's also important to note that most of these stations are not accessible by wheelchair unless they've been renovated lately (which seems unlikely), so make sure that if someone does need a wheelchair or assistance getting on or off a train or moving through the station itself then this should be taken into account when planning ahead for what might happen during travel times here -- especially since there may not always be staff available who can help out with such things either!


The food isn't always good, but it's plentiful and cheap.


The food in Germany is not always good, but it's plentiful and cheap. Germany's national dish is bratwurst (sausage), which you can find everywhere, but there are also other German-themed foods such as schnitzel (fried meat that can be pork or chicken) or Leberkäse (salted ham loaf). One type of food that is difficult to find in Germany but easy to get outside of it are Doner Kebabs—a Turkish and Arabic specialty consisting of meat grilled on a rotating spit cut up and seasoned to be Lamb Shwarma, then they cut into small pieces with a knife before being put onto pita bread with onions, lettuce and tomatoes. Beware of cleanliness and standards wherever you order foods.


Doner kebab restaurants abound throughout the country serving everything from vegan options to traditional meats. What they all have in common though is their use of gas-fired grills and frying pans instead of ovens making them fast service establishments geared towards takeaway orders rather than sit-down dining experiences like those found back home. Make sure any place you order food from looks very clean with high standards for food protection. If not, steer clear.


There's so much good that comes with traveling in Germany by train -- accessibility, cleanliness, food -- but there are some challenges as well.


There’s a lot of good that comes with traveling in Germany by train. It’s clean, comfortable, and there are plenty of outlets for charging phones and laptops. The schedules are accurate and accessible, making it easy to know when you need to get on or off the train. There’s also an option for you to get a ticket plan that makes sense for your budget and travels needs.

But there are some challenges as well: For example, the cars may sometimes have tiny gaps from one side to another; even if they don't have enough space for your wheelchair passenger there's always room somewhere! Or maybe not! It's hard to say until you get on board the train; however if there is no gap between seats then don't worry -- just ask someone else who has bought their ticket yet (or not) if they would mind moving so that your wheelchair user can sit down next to them instead of across from them (be polite). This will make sure everyone gets along well together during this trip together which could lead into friendships later down life's road! Just remember though not everyone wants another person sitting next to them.


Conclusion


So there you have it: my experiences traveling by train in Germany. As I've said before, this is not a comprehensive guide to all things Deutsche Bahn (DB), But I wanted to share my experience with others who might be considering visiting Germany I want to help them to know more about the Deutche Bahn (DB) train system in Germany. I hope that this article has been helpful for you!

Martin Emerson Low