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Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

North Yorkshire...
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Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

We had a nice few days in Düsseldorf and Cologne this week and I will do a trip report later but I thought it was worth warning people that things can go wrong with the trains. I bought our ticket back to Düsseldorf airport from Cologne well in advance as the lines at the ticket office are very very long and the automatic dispenser is a bit hard if you don't speak the language (although there did seem to be someone on hand to help). Our problem was that the 17.49 train to the airport (just a 30 minute journey) was delayed by an hour. The line to ask someone advise was about 30 or 40 deep so we just picked another train from a very complicated looking time table that we could see was definitely going to the airport but it took an hour 20 minutes. . What we should have done was get the times of other trains around that time so that we would have an alternative in an emergency.

Bolton, United...
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1. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

This is one of the reasons that we prefer to take a taxi. Although our taxi experience this time round was pretty sureal Cologne Bonn Airport to Cologne, but I'm pretty sure it was a one off. I've never encountered a language problem and even if I've tried to speak German I've always found that the German I'm speaking to speaks better English than I do.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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2. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

It never hurts to just ask a local that is standing nearby as they probably know what to do. Although it's nice to know what your alternatives are by perhaps printing out train schedules in your time frame, if the train for some reason unexpectedly stops along the way at a remote place, you'll probably have to do that then.

Basingstoke
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3. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

There are several yellow timetables that list all the times of the trains that run on a daily basis in the Koln Bahnhof concourse.

There are also timetables for trains running to Dusseldorf and Koln/Bonn airports in the travel centre at the station.

My advice is that anyone travelling takes 10 minutes to familarise themselves with the items mentioned above.

Germany
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4. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

> This is one of the reasons that we prefer to take a taxi.

The Rhine-Ruhr conurbation is not only the area in Germany the most serious problems on train punctuality. The situation on the roads is by no means any better. Esp. around Cologne.

One has also to keep in mind that this is Germany's largest conurbation.

.

What I do and recommend is to take a printout of the DB timetable with you which shows also the previous and next later trains around the one you want to take. Not only useful if a train is late.

Or if you have a smartphone install the DB Navigator

bahn.de/i/…

For an Android smartphone the Öffi app can be a also recommended

http://oeffi.schildbach.de/

But play around with these beforehand - not just starting to do so in an emergency situation.

Portland, Oregon USA
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5. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

The ticket machines can be switched over to English and several other languages. You just touch the screen where the flag is for the language you want.

You can get timetable information from the ticket machines. I've found the ticket machines to be very helpful and they help me avoid standing in the "Information" line or trying to find my destnation on the train schedules posted in the train stations. Often the posted train schedules will not have your destination if it is far away or a small town or city. The ticket machines will always be able to help you.

Change the machine over to English and select "Timetable information". The machine defalts to your current location for "departure point" but you can select other departure points if you just need information about another trip. Then select "immediate departure" and you'll be presented with the next three trains and connections. You select one and the machine will provide you with the detailed information such as train numbers and platforms and where the changes are. You can then print out the information. You can also buy the ticket.

North Yorkshire...
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6. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

All good tips and I will definitely go armed with more information next time. I think a lot of trains were affected that night as they were nearly all listed as running late and there seemed to be general confusion all round. We did use the automatic machine at one point but there were so many choices we would have picked the wrong ticket if there hadn't been a helper standing there. I would never have thought to use them for information only.

7. Re: Careful at train station if getting train back to airport

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