Sunday, January 22, 2017

Cheaper by train from Stuttgart to Berlin

Deutsche Bahn - DB (German Railways) face little competition in the field of long distance passenger transport. There have been attempts by companies other than Deutsche Bahn to run long distance trains across Germany, but only one has remained and this offers a reduced service in comparison to the start of service: HKX between Köln and Hamburg.

A new service from Stuttgart to Berlin via
  • Berlin
  • Wolfsburg
  • Hannover
  • Göttingen
  • Kassel
  • Fulda
  • Hanau
  • Frankfurt
  • Darmstadt
  • Heidelberg
  • Vaihingen (Enz)
  • Stuttgart
has just started on 15 December 2016: Locomore. This is cheaper than Deutsche Bahn, German Railways. Fares are planned to be under the cost of a standard DB fare with a half price BahnCard 50. Heidelberg - Berlin costs between 20 and 65€. The standard DB fare is 136€ (68€ with a BahnCard 50), though with luck and early planning one can buy a DB ticket for 29€. Locomore tickets can be bought online, per telephone or directly in the train. Tickets bought in the train are the most expensive. The long distance bus fare Heidelberg - Berlin (Flixbus) costs from 19€ but at popular times like Christmas customers are looking at prices above 50€.

The trains are comfortable and reasonably fast: the Heidelberg - Berlin journey with Locomore takes 5h 48m whereas DB ICEs take 5h 15m, The bus takes at least eight hours. The Locomore trains take bikes. Bikes must be reserved in advance.

More information under Will it be a success? Who knows? The company has some teething problems at the moment and is only offering a service four days a week until 6 April 2017, but passenger levels appear to be as expected.

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