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Quick change of trains (again)

by littlelawyer Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

On March 25th I am arriving in Munich about 23.27 I think (from Stuttgart as you may have seen from an earlier post) and I need to catch a night train to Ljubjlana leaving at 23.40.
Has anyone else done this or is it just mad? Booked the tickets through Deutsche Bahn but they seem to be cutting it fine!
Danke
L

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21 Answers
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by Nemorino Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Again, I have never taken that EuroNight train to Ljubljana, but from the timetable it appears that the ICE from Stuttgart arrives in Munich, track 13, at 23:27. The EuroNight train leaves at 23:40 from track 12.

    I forget if tracks 12 and 13 are on the same platform, but even if they aren’t it should be no problem to change trains in thirteen minutes since both tracks end there and are on the same level, so you just have to walk around from one platform to the next – no stairs top climb.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by Nemorino Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I have just looked up the station layout of Munich main station, and it turns out that tracks 12 and 13 are on opposite sides of the same platform.

    So changing trains should be no problem. The only thing that could happen is that you might have to walk up or down the platform a ways to find your reserved compartment on the EuroNight train. (Or the ICE from Stuttgart could be late, but at that time of night they are usually on time.)

    cms-bahnhof.noncd-web.db.de/...

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by Nemorino Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    In my experience the central station in Munich gets rather quiet after about 10 in the evening, so I wouldn't worry too much about the crowds.

    If your train from Stuttgart is running late, by all means tell the conductor that you have a connection to make in Munich. They can phone ahead and at least let you know what to do. Sometimes they can even arrange for a train to wait for connecting passengers.

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    You should have no problem connecting with the train. I would not go to the bathroom or cafe unless I can see the platform and can run to it within a minute.though. The Germans pride themselves with on time travel, so don't be late Just know that the train will leave at 23:40 really means you should be on the platform at 23:35. Assuming that the train arrives on time gives you a five minute window. Your not mad to travel that way and I would do the same.

    cheers tommy x

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  • vpas's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by vpas Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I have done this in the past. The deutsche trains are almost always on time! The best part is that the platform numbers are allotted ahead of time and you will know exactly where to go. I do hope you do not have too many pieces of luggage.
    Have a good trip,

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  • margsch's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by margsch Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    13 minutes will be fine, you only walk across the same platform where your train arrives and board the other train. If the first train is a German train it will be punctual, be standing at the doors ready to get off when it pulls in to Munich. Changes of 3 minutes are common and I have never missed the train. 13 minutes is ample. When the Conductor comes around on the first train ask him which carriage you need to board in the next train as some trains "split" . There will be placards by the doors of each carriage stating their major destinations.

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  • Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Did you buy a through ticket from Stuttgart to Ljubljana?
    In that case the problem is DB's, not yours. If you miss your connection in München they will have to solve your problem, put you up in a hotel, or put you on another train. These are your rights as a passenger.
    But 13 minutes for a cross platform change is no problem. It's not even a problem if the change was more involved.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by leics Online Now Mar 7, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    DB, like any European railway operator, would not sell a connection which was physically impossible nor one which regularly meant they were having to shell out compensation for passengers with through tickets who had missed the train through inbound delays. So if your ticket is from Stuttgart>Ljubljana you have nothing to worry about, even if there is a major delay (highly unlikely).

    Although I've not taken this particular journey I can only reiterate that German railway travel is very efficient and that it does not take 13 minutes to cross a platform (even one which is crowded, which does seem unlikely at that time of night). Even if you had to change platforms you would still have time to do so, imo.

    To maximise time, and reduce your own concerns, make sure that you have gathered together all your belongings and are ready to get off as the first train is pulling into the station. Also remember that you can get on the outbound train at any point and walk through it to find your seat/couchette...you don't have to wander the platform looking for it (unless you prefer to do so).

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by Nemorino Online Now Mar 8, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Yes, but it is much easier and faster to walk along the platform than to walk through the train, where lots of other people will be looking for their seats, stowing their luggage, etc.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by leics Online Now Mar 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Very true. I was thinking only in terms of feeling one did not have enough time to walk along the platform...at least one is actually on the train! :-)

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  • Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 8, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    When walking along a train it's good to know that a normal person can walk about 4 cars in one minute. So if you've got a few minutes to spare you can easily estimate if you can still walk to you car on the platform.

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  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by RoscoeGregg Online Now Mar 9, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    Bold, very bold indeed!. It looks short to me. If every thing works like clockwork cool but one little hitch and you are screwed. I would try to make some changes if possible.

    Good Luck!

    Randy

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by leics Online Now Mar 9, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    As someone who regularly takes trains when I'm on the European mainland (several times a year), I would have absolutely no worries at all about making a change in 13 minutes.

    And I've never experienced any sort of security check at any station anywhere, other than when taking the under-Channel Eurostar from and to the UK. I'd worry about 3 minutes, maybe...but definitely not 13. Not even with bags.

    Of course anything can go wrong: there could be a major rail disruption, you could miss your inbound trains....you could slip and break your ankle when getting off the first train! But there's no point in thinking like that, imo. Best to consider the likely realities rather than the innumerable..and far, far less likely...potentials! :-)

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by leics Online Now Mar 9, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    I do understand. You had an unpleasant experience (albeit in another European country) but it is in no way the norm.

    In this case, the probability is very strongly that there will be no problem whatsoever with making the connection. My opinion (because no-one can be factually accurate in this particular case..it hasn't happened yet!) is based on my own varied European railway experiences over recent years and from the fact that DB simply would not provide tickets for a change which wasn't feasible without running & mega-stress. As I noted above, European railway companies don't....not least because of EU regulations as detailed here:

    europa.eu/youreurope/citizen...

    Perhaps those regulations were not in force when you had your unpleasant experience at Gare d'Austerlitz?

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by leics Online Now Mar 9, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    Aha! That explains it. You'll be pleased to know that EU rail passengers are now as well-covered for delays as EU air passengers.

    Maybe you should start using the train more often? Safe, comfortable, space to move around, far more reliable than road traffic and never affected by traffic congestion. :-)

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  • margsch's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by margsch Online Now Mar 9, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Having caught dozens of trains in Germany I can assure you that it is very unlikely that there will be delays - but the world could end tomorrow! Then you not only miss the train, there are all those  flybuy points you haven,t used.

    All my travel delays have involved Internatonal flights but the airline paid for us to stay at a swish Hotel as well as a book of vouchers to use for meals etc Unforeseen circumstances can occur anywhere, I once had to assist a woman on the train who broke her ankle before boarding but was still determined to travel and that was a circus! She was rather intoxicated into the bargain. I just hoped she didn,t want to use the toilet.

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  • Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Bennytheball wrote:
    I do hope the correspondent makes his connection, My friends (what few I have left) always regard me as "the prophet of doom"....

    but it might be a good idea to have back-up plan, I would be downloading a Google street map of Munchen, to check out the locality of hotels surrounding the Hauptbanhof?

    The "backup plan" is contacting the railway staff. If you miss a connection because of a delayed train, and this means you won't be able to continue your travel for the day they will have to find a solution for you. One of the nice things about train travel is that as a passenger you have certain rights that are enshrined in law. One of thes is that if you have a set of ticket, even when they are for different trains, from different companies, you have in fact a contract that entitles you to being transported from your origin to your destination. If something goes wrong before you're at your final destination it's the railways' responsability to help you.

    What this means in practice is that if the train from Stuttgart were to run late you just contact the conducter. He will phone München and thell them that you need to make the night train. Holding a train for a bit, especially a night train which usually has a lot of slack in it's schedule is a lot less hassle for the railway than finding you a hotel in München...

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  • Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 11, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    leics wrote:
    Aha! That explains it. You'll be pleased to know that EU rail passengers are now as well-covered for delays as EU air passengers.

    Achtually railway passengers  have always been well protected. However in the past when everyon travelled on kilometer based open fares on national operators it was a lot easier. Now with high speed trains with integrated reservation ticketing and market prices it has become more complicated. That is why the EU has decided to make both passengers and the railway companies more aware of the rules, and adapt the rules to the new situation.

     

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  • Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by WineBuffTraveller Online Now Mar 12, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    The issue here isn't how long it takes to walk from one train to the other (probably 90 seconds) but how late the first train arrives.

    DB runs to pretty much 85%-90% on time or within 15 minutes, so you have only a 10-15% chance of being over 15 minutes late.

    Unfortunately, the DB booking system blindly applies the minimum connectional time irrespective of whether you are changing onto a frequent local train ("Oh dear, I've missed it, never mind, there's another 30 minutes later") or a can't-afford-to-miss-it sleeper train ("Oh dear, I've missed it so I'm stuffed")

    When booking, there's a drop down on bahn.de that allows you to change 'duration of transfers standard' to 'at least 45 minutes'. When making major connections, it's a good thing to use this. Connection are all about risk management and possible delay, not about how long it physically takes to step off one train and onto another.

    But as said above, if you have a through ticket you're protected by the CIV international conditions of carriage, entitling you to onward travel on another train and (if you miss the last train) potentially a hotel.

    Be ready to jump off, and head straight to your sleeper train, and it's odds-on you'll make it.

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  • littlelawyer's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by littlelawyer Online Now Apr 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Good grief. 25 answers!! Well, my first connection (Stuttgart) was fine - the train from Paris was 5 minutes late, but they must have held the next train back. That train caught up time - then they announced at Munich that we were arriving at platform 19 (not 13). But I made it, and the night train left several minutes late itself in the end. So, all good. Thanks for all the advice - but it's lucky I didn't read Benny's before I went, I would never have relaxed!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick change of trains (again)

    by leics Online Now Apr 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Very pleased to hear that your trip went well although not in the least bit surprised.

    One bad experience, especially from some considerable time ago, does not create a norm. As I noted earlier, things are now very different to how they once were. EU passenger regulations alone have made life much easier for the traveller and computerisation has made life easier for the rail companies. For example, trains can be held back to ensure there are no issues with incoming passengers (your night train may have left those few minutes late simply because of your platform change or because another incoming train was a few minutes late).

    The main thing to remember is that European railway companies, like airlines, never show connection times which are not feasible. If they did so they would be fully liable so, of course, they do not do so.

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