It would be difficult to understate how disappointed I was with the performance of the Deutsche Bahn while I was in Germany. I was in the hands for the DB for three trips, each scheduled to have one train change: Zurich-Nuremburg, Nuremburg-Berlin and Berlin-Zurich. The railroad let me down on two of those trips. I missed a seven-minute connection on the way to Nuremburg (by no means an unusual bit of scheduling) because my first train was exactly seven minutes late; I made it off the first train just in time to watch the next one depart. And the train into Zurich was so late that it was annulled in Frankfurt, requiring an hour wait to catch a train that was, as a result, filled with two trains’ worth of passengers. In both cases, I arrived at my destination more than two hours’ late, and since those were my only evenings in either city, essentially lost my opportunity to see even a small part of either one.Yes, years ago a planned day trip from Wien to London broke down over a six minute connection in Köln. Got as far as Brussels to rebook the next day on Eurostar; there the Eurostar agents noted that the connection in question frequently failed.
But in other ways, Deutsche Bahn is becoming more like a railroad.
I’ve heard Deutsche Bahn is no longer the flawless operation it once was, and I believe it — based not just from my own experience, but on conversations with other passengers. If and when I get back to Germany, I will be a little more conservative (perhaps pessimistic is a better word) when it comes to trip planning.Yes, and the diner sometimes runs out of food. And yet, you can go almost anywhere, even with the occasional change in travel plans (just call it an adventure.) Try going from Washington, D. C. to Ottawa (or Montgomery, Alabama) or Chicago to Toronto on a train.