Travels bloody travels

This page logs some travels (transportations to be specific). Just for future reference.

> Dresden Hbf -> Leuven

The connection is:

Dresden Hbf
 | ICE1558
 | ICE 10
 | IC543

The Germany part of the journey was almost a disaster.

The first part: luckily the train starts from Dresden and I should have plenty of time to get on board, but they make a last minute notice that the train will starts from a different platform (same rail, but further away, I saw it from the distance but I thought that wasn’t my train). I caught the notice 3 minutes before the train starts (well, also partly my fault)..

Another stupid thing was that I printed my carriage and seat number on a small piece of paper for quick reference, but I made a typo (I had carriage 17 instead of 27), I was wasting time searching for a carriage that doesn’t exist, until I finally checked my phone.

Next, when the train arrived at Frankfurt Hbf, I should have 57 minutes to transfer to ICE10 towards Belgium, but that didn’t work out:

  • I left the ICE1558 and went directly to the platform where I should take the next one, only to find on the display " Ausfall… “, the ICE10 won’t start from Frankfurt main station, instead it will start from Frankfurt airport! And the “nice” DB-Navigator app prompts me that I can “use any train” to get to the destination. But how?
  • So I went to the information point and the gentleman there printed a detour guide for me: take another train in the direction of Dortmund which passes by the Frankfurt airport where I should get off to catch the ICE10.
  • Sounds not so bad? No. I typed my colleague on the way to the airport, and he then found out that the ICE10 was also cancelled at the airport..
  • Well, I searched again, and it seems I need to take one further station to get to Sieburg/Bonn, where the ICE10 was rescheduled to start.
  • And 2 minutes before the train arrived at Sieburg, the train staff told us that the ICE10 was cancelled again! And instead, we go to Köln to catch it.
  • pfffff. At that moment, I realized that the DB-Navigator app was broken, because they thought the trip was totally hopeless, and they failed to “suggest an alternative”. I can now file a refund request!

Nevertheless, we arrived at Köln, and we made it (in some 5 minutes) to the transit. We caught ICE10! Yeeee! Ok, we arrived at Liege and then Leuven, no issue, the trip mission was accomplished! Wait no, we need to go to the hotel, by bus. And the bus was cancelled too. We had to walk for like 40 minutes in the midnight.


On the third day of the conference we had a nice conference dinner, and I shared
the table with another two colleagues from Germany, a scholar from Canada, a
professor from KU Leuven (the host), and one of his phd students. Yeah, you
guessed it, we are all complaining about the railway systems in the home
- "I think our problem is that the railway system is run by the state and the
  there is no competence in the private sector."
- "I think our problem is that the railway system is run by the private
  companies and there is no integration nor controll."
- "... we have no railway" - said the Canadian.

Yeah, this thing totally sucks.

The returning trip: Leuven to Dresden

 | IC516
 | ICE19
Köln Hbf
 | ICE205
Karlsruhe Hbf
 | EC459/EN40459
Dresden Hbf
Nothing works.

I had the feeling that thing may not go well, so instead of IC516, I took IC416, which is the same train but ~30 mins earlier. It turns out that I was right. The IC516 was late, and I would have missed the ICE19, should I took the IC516. (I askked the personal at the Leuven station, they said it doesn’t matter which IC train I took).

[Inter-title 2]

    Actually, dispite the IC-NNN number you get from the booking system, the IC
    in Belgium doesn't have number! It's simply, IC. I asked the KV Leuven
    Professor about this during the dinner, he said they simply failed to figure
    out a way to implement the tracking... The numbers are simply there to
    "predict the traffic"..

The ICE19 was a bit late, too, but it didn’t hurt. This trip to Köln Hbf was smooth.

Then, I had ~40 minutes to transfer to the ICE205, this one is then delayed by 10 minutes. However the last connection from Karlsruhe to Dresden was tight: I had ~11 minutes to transfer. I’m not to worried though because they only delayed the departure, not the arrival.

So, I got onboard ICE205, then there came the notice: the train was disturbed by whatever “objects on the rail”. And it’s delayed by another 20 minutes: accrording to DB-Navigator App my connection at Karsruhe was IMPOSSIBLE and I have to think about another connection: if I go to Karlsruhe but failed to catch the last connection, I’ll end up further away from Dresden.

So I was thinking about another connection from Köln to Berlin, then to Dresden. This makes much sense. I packed my stuffs and got offboard.

The moment I got offboard, I heard the notice: please get back onboard NOW – it seems tha they fixed the issue faster than expected. I did the math in my head in 2 seconds and realized the connection at Karlsruhe would still be possible, so I decided to take the chance and get back on board.

[UPDATE] Guess who is sitting in Mannheim for 2.5 hours waiting for an alternative train to Berlin? Fuck it, the plan failed, the ICE205 didn’t make it to Karlsruhe in time to catch connection. The alternative is to take the ICE 498 (from Mannheim, one station before Kalsruhe) to Saal.

Yeah, I need to wait until 1:44 am. I’m gonna ask for a refund, definitely.

[UPDATE] Yeah, you guess it, it fucked up again. The plan was take ICE 498 from Mannheim to Halle(Saale), then another IC (forgot the number but nothing else matters) directly to Dresden. I took a snap on the train, and I only woke up to find that the train was delayed again, for 1 hour. The last connection failed, of course.

Then yet another alternative: I take IC2031 from Halle(Saale) to Leipzig, then ICE1553 to Dresden. This, my friends, finally worked. I’m sitting on the last train now to conclude this bullshit.

                                           |     \-->Leipzig*
                                          /             \_____Dresden*
             Köln*                     |                  
             ^   \          +----------+
            /     \         |
Leuven*-> Liege*   \-Frankfurt
                          \   ^
                           \    \
                            \   Mannheim*
                            |   ^
                            v   |
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