If you want German trains, go to Switzerland

suisse

Anyone who has traveled by rail in Germany knows there is a huge disconnect between reputation and reality when it comes to punctuality and service. DW looks at who is to blame, and what can be done to fix it.

“If you’re looking for German efficiency, go to Switzerland” – a joke well-worn with native born Germans and immigrants alike as they watch their train delays tick upwards from 15 minutes, to 45, to over an hour.

Harried conductors are reluctant to offer help, and any attempt to rectify traffic dilemmas is slap-dash at best (such as putting an entire high-speed train’s worth of passengers into taxis during a recent technical failure). Hoards of angry customers, who have come to rely on the German rail’s vastly overrated self-image, sit around and bemoan how “in Italy and India the trains were more reliable.”

 A single small accident, like the recent one near the southwestern town of Rastatt, is enough to disrupt one of Europe’s busiest rail routes for months, costing millions, throwing tens of thousands of travelers into chaos and disrupting the delivery of necessary goods like food and medicine that are largely carried on cargo trains…

Read more : Deutsche Welle, 11.09.2017