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murphaph
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It may be of interest to some. Germany is introducing a nationwide 9€ per month train/bus/tram ticket for the summer months. The ticket allows use of (almost) all regional and regional express trains in the entire country as well as all local public transport networks. Interestingly however it also includes several steam operated railways, such as the Mollibahn and the Harz Narrow Gauge system (except the ascent to the summit of the Brocken mountain):

https://www.hsb-wr.de/Fahrplan-Tarife/Tarife/Fahrpreise/9-Euro-Ticket/

I will definitely be grabbing a ticket in each month and taking a spin somewhere. Trains will be packed on weekends however, so beware!

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1 hour ago, murphaph said:

It may be of interest to some. Germany is introducing a nationwide 9€ per month train/bus/tram ticket for the summer months. The ticket allows use of (almost) all regional and regional express trains in the entire country as well as all local public transport networks. Interestingly however it also includes several steam operated railways, such as the Mollibahn and the Harz Narrow Gauge system (except the ascent to the summit of the Brocken mountain):

https://www.hsb-wr.de/Fahrplan-Tarife/Tarife/Fahrpreise/9-Euro-Ticket/

I will definitely be grabbing a ticket in each month and taking a spin somewhere. Trains will be packed on weekends however, so beware!

Flipping jammed all the times I have used them!! Great idea though!

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Yeah it's mad to see some of the journeys people are planning from one end of the country to the other, effectively for free but generally taking very many hours and multiple changes. I am planning a trip to the Harz on a school day before the holidays start. Will set off early and get to Quedlinburg for 10.30 and spend the morning and afternoon travelling the system around to Wernigerode before heading home. Might take a spin to VW Autocity as well. That's reachable in 2.5 hours on regional trains from here. The obvious destination is the Baltic sea coast but that will be mobbed completely with Berliners as it's easily reachable for a day trip.

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Wow. 7 million of these tickets have been sold so far for June already. People with monthly or annual passes don't even need to buy one, their local/regional tickets are valid nationwide and they will get a refund on the extra cost so they aren't out of pocket.

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Notice you say regional trains, a bit ago I bought a ticket, asking from A to B. The ticket office bloke gave me a ticket, and a very lengthy spiel, which went in one ear and out the other, as I dont speak German. Looking at it, no mention of the stations, anyhow did the journey, and come back from a different place, an unstaffed station. Tried to get a new ticket from the guard, and it turned out I’d been given a regional runround for the area as the cheapest option. Changed trains to get back to A, and caught an intercity, and got a frightful roasting off the ticket collector, using a regional ticket on an intercity. Luckily the next stop was the one I wanted. So just maybe this new ticket has the same drawbacks?

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Yeah you can't use it on IC/EC/ICE trains, only regional and regional express and everything below that (commuter rail, metro, tram, bus) but it's a hell of an offer nonetheless! It's a one off to get people to use trains and buses during the holidays instead of their cars, to reduce dependency on Russian oil I guess.

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8 hours ago, Galteemore said:

Sounds like scope for some wonderful challenges as to how far one could get on such a ticket! 

I guess you could travel the entire network minus any purely high speed and freight only sections. You have 3 months to do it for €27 plus your accommodation costs.

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Posted (edited)

My ticket:

IMG_20220601_101058180.thumb.jpg.74c52f6dc4423454163411966ac62117.jpg

It's strange seeing the Deutschlandtarif at the top. Might never happen again. It's a first in my lifetime I believe. The ticket is not valid until you write your name on it and it is not transferable so changing the name invalidates it immediately. A passport or national ID card is required when using the ticket. Driving licences etc. are insufficient. I got one for all the family. Sure it'll encourage us to take a couple of random trips somewhere. Can't go wrong at that price.

Edit: This guy simulated the 9€ ticket in advance and travelled from Munich to the Baltic coast using only regional and local trains. He took 16 hours to do it, 2 longer than expected because there was an embankment fire along the way which closed a section for a while as the fire brigade extinguished the blaze:

 

Edited by murphaph
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Good luck with your 9 Euro runabout, Murph.

Back in the 1970s, there was a thing called a Ferientourenkarte, which had to be connected to a return ticket for at least 200kms - it cost, wait for it - £2.50 for TWO weeks. Almost as good as this amazing bargain.

I used three of them on my 1970 summer holiday to notch up -

3,150 miles of steam haulage (almost all oil burning Pacifics with lots of 70 - 80 mph running) in Schleswig Holstein

613 miles in Black Forest (mainly P8s - same vintage as Slieve Gullion, but a few runs with 78s, the Prussian 4-6-4Ts)

finally, 663 miles with the Hof-based coal-burning Pacifics (Class 01 of 1925, Class 64 2-602Ts, Class 50 2-10-0s)

4,400 miles of steam in 17 days.

I'm amazed that the Harz steam railways are included!

Have a great month - full reports to be posted here, please!!!

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I took the other May bargain - HALF PRICE INTER_RAIL passes!

A First Class pass for a continuous month of travel THROUGHOUT EUROPE cost about £325 - the same as a five days in two weeks pass before the pandemic. A three month pass was about £450 and that's what I've opted for, starting (DV) in early July.

Sorry, folks, but the "Sale" lasted five days, so too late to grab it now.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My target for tomorrow, Wernigerode Town Hall:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.8332672,10.784358,3a,75y,3.18h,129.8t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipPbnPK4_46YV43Bb2GBeYJr212l_yUgJENy7tKU!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipPbnPK4_46YV43Bb2GBeYJr212l_yUgJENy7tKU%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya45.563225-ro-0-fo100!7i7296!8i3648

Plan:

Mainline regional rail:

Depart Brieselang 0540. Arrive Charlottenburg (West Berlin) 0605, depart 0621. Arrive Magdeburg 0751, depart 0807. Arrive Quedlinburg 0923. Normal price for this leg alone would be €43.50!

Change at Quedlinburg to Narrow gauge Harz network, mix of mostly steam hauled with some railcar service in between:

Depart Quedlinburg on the Selke Valley Railway, steam hauled at 1030. Arrive Alexisbad 1131, depart on railcar at 1237. Arrive Eisfelder Talmühle 1351.

Change to Trans-Harz Railway and depart Eisfelder Talmühle at 1411, steam hauled all the way to Wernigerode, with a half an hour break at Drei Annen Hohne. This is where trains cross and it's a summit of the railway I believe. They take on water here in both directions. Trains on the spur to the summit of the Brocken Mountain depart from here but I've been up there a couple of times before so I will be skipping it tomorrow and heading straight to Wernigerode, arriving at 1633. I will then take mainline regional rail back to Brieselang the way I came most likely.

Wernigerode is a beautiful half timbered town, with a castle perched above it on a hillside, that was spared destruction in WWII when the German commander of their armed forces, Gustav Petri refused to defend it against the Americans, knowing it would be destroyed, with great loss of life. He was executed for his actions, but Wernigerode survived intact and nobody was killed in its pointless defence.

Without the €9 ticket this journey would cost well over €100.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys. For a lark I'll update with sporadic photos during the day. First train I saw today was a freight that passed through shortly before my (unusually) loco hauled RB14 arrived:

IMG_20220616_053132255_HDR.thumb.jpg.9eb704b8ad846dcc2d0697b7786e2b2f.jpg

My train. Normally a Talent 2 EMU. Perhaps due to works on the line it's loco hauled double deck stock today:

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Spandau. Start of the SBahn along this stretch of line:

IMG_20220616_055755877.thumb.jpg.c326c6398438212390e8ab2d5dbda530.jpg

Edited by murphaph
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Berlin Charlottenburg. Train I arrived on terminated here and will return to Nauen a little later, this time being propelled by the loco:

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My RE1 connection to Magdeburg pulls in:

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The RE1 stops at Berlin Wannsee and Potsdam. Site of two (in)famous conferences. A little known fact is that the order by Truman to drop the atomic bomb on Japan was given in Potsdam.

Potsdam Hbf:

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Brandenburg Hbf with timed diesel railcar connection of the to Rathenow (county town of Havelland, the county in which I live). I will try to use this service another day:

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Quick change in Magdeburg on to the RE11, first non-DB train of the day, being operated by Abellio of the Netherlands. 

This train will split in Halberstadt with this half continuing to Quedlinburg. Thankfully dual USB sockets available to charge phone and power pack simultaneously. First diesel traction for me today.

Double deck Intercity to Cologne:

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My onward connection:

IMG_20220616_080124168_HDR.thumb.jpg.5fc3a4b91e9011211c73bdd63ad178c9.jpg

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2 hours ago, DJ Dangerous said:

Did they have DART lookalikes on that S-Bahn line years ago?

Not that I know of although the original DART is German.

Arrival at Quedlinburg and transfer to narrow gauge. Had a few minutes to walk through the town:

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@murphaph - Thanks for uploading all those pictures. Used to go to Berlin lots and some of those photographs bring back good memories, always enjoyed my time there, go mór mhór, visiting a lot of the model railway shops.

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Phil,

          I am jealous, I was in the Harz in February 2020, and the weather was similar as it was a very mild winter.

I hope when you got to Wernigerode you went to the lovely Rathaus  restaurant in the cellars for a meal before you travelled back. (Other places to eat are available in town and they are all superb)

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Posted (edited)

A few pics I'll caption later:

Stiege, crossing the modern railcar going the other way on the Selketalbahn (Selke Valley Railway):

IMG_20220616_132410134.thumb.jpg.22cabe578c2d3555e797c2fc008f72a0.jpg

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The Manulla Junction of the Harz Network. There is almost nothing here. There was a closed restaurant in the old station building. No village or town. Disembarked the Selketalbahn and boarded s steam hauled service to Wernigerode on the Trans Harz Railway:

IMG_20220616_135027120_HDR.thumb.jpg.0c0d3407f7c84a6242e208e16d2f5b4f.jpg

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Right from whence we came, left towards Wernigerode:

IMG_20220616_135048216_HDR.thumb.jpg.ae6b74cd394d07168f521dded46ed5e5.jpg

Our train arriving out of Wernigerode. The loco will take on water and run around and haul us backwards:

IMG_20220616_140006911.thumb.jpg.8247c6482673d742be319d48b7af7c26.jpg

On the way through the mountains to Wernigerode:

IMG_20220616_145259103.thumb.jpg.ebf36bfa69d0f664aad50eb2411566ef.jpg

30 minute break at Drei Annen Hohne. 3 steam hauled trains met here. This is our loco heading to take on water. Our train is in the rear on platform 3:

IMG_20220616_152234545.thumb.jpg.46167445c53cfa96353dfa8b8bf315a2.jpg

Standard gauge piggybacking on narrow gauge:

IMG_20220616_152432976_HDR.thumb.jpg.cf9f6ab36ee44b371fcaabb547791b45.jpg

Arriving into Wenigerode Hbf:

IMG_20220616_163207444.thumb.jpg.7537cbf19e3a15aa2687d362c0a8a021.jpg

IMG_20220616_163427505_HDR.thumb.jpg.808bd33bb383c4b400af4af378510a3f.jpg

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Over on the mainline platform for the journey home:

IMG_20220616_163802481_HDR.thumb.jpg.4186f0d1a867f2026210ba8574680129.jpg

Pit stop in Magdeburg with its impressive station facade. Great place to watch freight trains. One every few minutes:

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Edited by murphaph
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Brendan8056 said:

Phil,

          I am jealous, I was in the Harz in February 2020, and the weather was similar as it was a very mild winter.

I hope when you got to Wernigerode you went to the lovely Rathaus  restaurant in the cellars for a meal before you travelled back. (Other places to eat are available in town and they are all superb)

Hey Brendan, 

I completely skipped the town this time. To be honest I've been there a few times already in all seasons and I was getting tired and wanted to be on the rails home at that stage!

So I just hopped straight off the HSB and into an RE 4 to Halberstadt changing straight onto an RE11 to Magdeburg. I stopped for a quick bite to eat in Magdeburg as I'd never been in the city. I'll go back for a closer look on my €9 ticket. I only saw around the station.

I am wondering what other heritage railways I can reach in a reasonable time on the €9 ticket.

Interestingly there were several Brits doing exactly the same route as me on the HSB yesterday, making good use of the €9 offer. They were staying the night in Wernigerode.

Edit: Here was my plan. I hadn't wanted to actually go to Harzgerode because I was concerned I'd have to stand all the way to Eisfelder Talmühle if I wasn't ready to board. I accidentally boarded the railcar to Harzgerode however but all was fine in the end. Nobody had to stand on any of the trains I took on the HSB yesterday. The weekends are surely a different matter! I may well head back later this summer to cover more sections by steam.

IMG_20220617_091612422.thumb.jpg.0c61951a3ba069da9b31ba77d428f199.jpg

Edited by murphaph
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