Saturday 29 January 2005
Travel rantings. Switch off now.
German trains. Teutonic efficiency? Pah! I’ve just travelled from Essen Hbf to Düsseldorf Flughaven. The train was incredibly crowded (with accomodation of the sort perfected under the Final Solution) and stiflingly hot. When it got to the Flughaven station (I could tell we were there as my face was pressed against the glass of the door), the door wouldn’t open, in spite of passengers both inside and out pressing all the buttons, and even trying to pull the doors apart using the handles. In the UK, if a train has a faulty door, it gets withdrawn from service. Apparently that isn’t the case in Germany. And there was no way through the carriage to the next door as everyone was jammed shoulder to shoulder and I had two heavy bags.
So, on to Düsseldorf Hbf. And here I found another failing of the German rail system – no platform staff with whom to remonstrate! I’d built up my remonstration powers to their maximum level by the time we got there, yet there was nobody upon whom to let rip in best English shout-point-wave-arms stylee. Most disappointing – I needed the catharsis.
So the next time that someone tells you that the railways are better on the continent, they are clearly talking out of their funny-shaped Bavarian hat.