• @Esqplorer@lemmy.zip
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    1477 months ago

    As an American who used DB for the first time, their shitty transit blows the best travel experiences here out of the water. I’d rather use German trains than fly first class in the US. Not even close TBH.

    • @DickFiasco@lemm.ee
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      427 months ago

      I kept reading the article trying to find the reason why DB is so crappy now, only to realize that a 10 minute delay is catastrophic by German standards. I’d love to just have any kind of public transit near me.

      • @barsoap@lemm.ee
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        7 months ago

        It is if it makes you miss a connecting train.

        Also, those delays aren’t the biggest problem, there’s areas of the network which are completely messed up with hour-long delays and trains being skipped. That’s a thing that’s tolerable to commuters if it happens once a year, but not three days a week.

        Not enough tracks, not enough cars, not enough reserve capacity, not enough fallbacks, and not even close to enough political will to fix the situation. Oh, yes, politicians agreed to introduce a swiss-style synchronised timetable by 2030, and that’s definitely doable… but it has been postponed to 2070, or, in other words, never.

        And then you hear bullshit like “we can’t burden the coming generations with debt to build infrastructure” – motherfucker how about not burdening future generations by having them drive horse buggies over gravel roads?

      • @apfelwoiSchoppen@lemmy.world
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        137 months ago

        Connecting trains are the big problem. I had a three and a half hour direct train from Frankfurt to Brussels end up taking 8 hours. The one direct train turned into four legs with 3 cancelations. Otherwise waiting for an additional 10 minutes is not a problem, yes.

        DB has a link where you can ask for refunds, which is nice. It doesn’t offer refunds for time lost though.

        • @AA5B@lemmy.world
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          7 months ago

          Here in the US, in one of the areas with “good” train service:

          – my commuter train was standing room only, every day

          – longer trips, like 2+ hours, ar reservation only, so o would have had to book it well ahead of time, or not get on

          • Fushuan [he/him]
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            7 months ago

            That sounds kind of a you problem. No really, your service being laughable doesn’t excuse Germany’s service being bad. 10 minutes of delay is unreliable when people use it as their main way of transport, the US is car centric so these delays don’t impose the same kind of problems on the general populace.

            In Spain our train performance varies wildly through regions, and in some people just don’t use trains because they don’t work, where in others 5 minute delay is unacceptable. Trains, Buses, Metro, if Google maps makes a mixed plan and it doesn’t work because of an unnanaunced delay, I will be rightfully pissed.

    • JoYo
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      127 months ago

      i donno, amtrak is pretty great on the east coast. there’s absolutely nothing from the mississippi to the west coast so if you’re going that way youre going to have a bad time.

        • JoYo
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          -37 months ago

          what’s wrong with amtrak?

          • @ALavaPulsar@lemmy.world
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            87 months ago

            Frequent delays. Poor frequency. Weird routes. Slow average speeds that can barely compete with a bus. Always getting bogged down by track-sharing with freight.

            The Northeast corridor is the only section of the entire system that is even remotely decent and is basically subsidizing the crappy lines that they are congressionally mandated to run so it’s not even that cost competitive with other modes.

            To be fair, most of this isn’t Amtrak’s fault but just a reflection of the fact that America doesn’t care about passenger rail.

            • @nilloc@discuss.tchncs.de
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              47 months ago

              I live in the northeast and used to use it semi regularly (2-3 times per week).

              Delays were insane if it was so much as sprinkling out. But the real problem was that it wasn’t much of any cheaper if you already owned and insured a car.

              Also for the rest of the country, it’s hard to care about something you don’t have access to and won’t be able to experience in even the remote future.

            • @Zitronensaft@feddit.de
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              27 months ago

              My cousin visited Texas from Germany and took a train from Dallas to Austin. The track sharing with freight was insane, the trip took 9 hours due to freight having right-of-way on the tracks. It’s only about a 3.5 hour drive. He was not impressed at all.

            • JoYo
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              17 months ago

              yah the north east corridor is great.

        • JoYo
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          -17 months ago

          yah ive been to europe. some things are nicer but amtrak is way more accommodating for people with disabilities.

          • @tchotchony@mander.xyz
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            27 months ago

            As a general tip: you usually have to apply for assistance beforehand. Doesn’t mean it isn’t shitty though, and if your train is delayed then and you miss a connection…

            • JoYo
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              07 months ago

              yah that is what we ended up having to do for my family. i think the bigger issue was the surrounding buildings and some of the stations not having adequate assistance. they nearly dumped my father into the water in Amsterdam.

              i live in DC and commuted every day on the MARC for years and never saw anything so disasterous. the ACA is a force to be reckoned with.

  • @Hexadecimalkink
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    787 months ago

    15 years ago I thought the Germans were the smartest people in the world because they understood the importance of investing in public services and had a central european style of capitalism that focused on fundamentals over financialization. since then they’ve slowly been adopting more neoliberal policies and making really stupid foreign policy decisions. I’ve lost a lot of respect for them as a world leader.

    • AggressivelyPassive
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      687 months ago

      Oh no, that actually started way earlier!

      The DB was supposed to be privatized in 1994, that failed. So now we have a stock based company (AG), lead like a profit oriented company, but owned 100% by the state.

      Since 1994, the entire company was (due to incompentence and wrong incentives) driven on attrition. The best example: if a bridge needs repair, that’s DB’s expense, but if the bridge has to be rebuilt, the state pays. So what would any smart CEO do? Stop maintenance, wait for the bridge to fail and then have it repaired on the state’s bill.

      • @exocortex@discuss.tchncs.de
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        7 months ago

        I’m sorry but, I always find it strange when people talk about nuclear energy as the simplest solution.

        Nuclear energy is extremely expensive compared to wind and solar once you also account for the cost of processing the uranium and then dealing with the radioactive waste afterwards.

        Also take France for example. The EDF has (after being privatized) ran on substance without reinvesting in repairs and renovation so much that last year more than half of its 56(54?) reactors stood still because of problems relevant for their save operation. This was before the last record-breaking summer in 2022 when even more of them didn’t have enough cool water to operate. As a consequence the EDF made mountains of dept because they had to buy so much energy from Germany last summer (from all the solar and wind) that Macron (the famously socialist and anti-market-driven-everything-president of France had to re-nationalize EDF last year. If a neoliberal government like France’s nationalizes the EDF (famous for its highest percentage of nuclear energy in the mix) you can really see how great of a solution it really is.

        Also: where does most of the world’s uranium come from? Russia. So not really much of a difference to the gas. France takes a lot of it from Mali as well (which explains their involvement there. So uranium isn’t that great in this regard as well).

        Also: Nuclear reactors create the most important resource for nuclear weapons automatically.

        In north-east Germany there’s the Wendelstein 7X an experimental stelarator-type fusion generator that since its operation blew all the best estimates for experimentation out of the water. But it can never create more energy than it takes because it’s too small. But it took decades to ensure the funding to even build a small one like this. For a fraction of the subsidies tat nuclear power plants, or gas or coal gets ever year we could’ve build many larger ones that would be much closer to be net positive in power production.

        I’m not against nuclear energy per se. But it’s really annoying to hear all these voices from outside that from thousands of miles away know everything about Germany turning off its power plants.

        The main advantage of nuclear in capitalism is that its central. Everybody having solar power and large fields of wind farms distributed evenly across the country make it less controllable by singular entities.

        I might warm up more to nuclear energy it would be run in a more socialist society where there’s no profit-driven operation that drives companies to skip repairs. The corrosion crisis in France is a direct result of “market forces”.

        If something like Chernobyl happened in France… holy shit. That country has the most tourists in the world and exporting their food into the whole wide world. And -yes - I know that the chernobyl-type reactor (Graphite-mediated and so on) isn’t used in France anymore. As someone who lived half of his life worth in 30km to “Fessenheim” - France’s oldest and now shut down Graphite-Based reactor - I can yell you that you examine the possible impact more closely from time to time and think about it more.

        Solar and Wind are better. But they naturally don’t create market monopolies and dilute power over energy. That’s why they’re not pushed that hard. If a resource is spread out evenly you cannot make money from it. There’s no market. Capitalism doesn’t like this.

        • alcoholicorn [comrade/them, doe/deer]
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          07 months ago

          Nuclear is not displaced by wind and solar, it’s displaced by fossil fuels. Nobody’s arguing that we should stop building solar or wind to start 20 year long nuclear constructions (though china has it down to 5).

          The continued existence of German lignite mining and their expansion of gas are due to turning off nuclear plants before the end of their lifespan.

      • OKRainbowKid
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        07 months ago

        Can’t go one thread about about Germany without that shit being spouted.

    • geolaw
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      237 months ago

      It is straight from the neoliberal privatisation playbook. Defund public infrastructure until the public complains, then “fix it” by privatising it

    • @exocortex@discuss.tchncs.de
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      7 months ago

      I’m German and have been in France quite often in recent years. It’s fascinating to hear their opinions on Germany. Outside our country is still imaged as having great engineering, efficiency - that Trains run on time. It’s quite puzzling to me.

      I came to the conclusion that the only real innovation in the last 30 years has been accounting. largely driven by neoliberalism. So every neo liberal country has kind of become more similar. Germany is not special, but has the advantage of having a lot of old successful companies that only slowly get sold of to international conglomerates. (Like Kuka etc). We behave as shitty as the rest, but our downward trajectory started higher up.

      Modern computers and software made it possible to account for basically every item in a company with little cost. Before you’d have needed so many people and hours of work to judge profitability of small things that it wouldn’t have been sensible to do so. CAD-Software also enables a special kind of accounting - simulating hardware components enables engineers to judge which parts are necessary and how much thickness is really needed. This is a huge and complicated process of optimization.

      Accounting made it possible to turn a mostly opaque company structure that ran inefficient (but mostly on par with the competition) and judge every employee, every item. That’s why supermarkets have outsourced the job of restuffing the shelves to a different company (that has to somehow make it work with the shitty pay that get). But it’s also the reason why appliances seem to hold just slightly over the warranty period. CAD-simulations made it possible for the accountants to change the products (make them shittier) so that people would need to buy new ones often.

      The Deutsche Bahn is the same. Has made it possible to invest the smallest amount possible, because they realized they can just work with the deterioration infrastructure as well - most people don’t have a choice and have to take the late train anyways.

      It’s the same with telecommunications here btw. With only few companys owning most Internet services they realized they don’t have to invest a lot into fiber. People need Internet and will have to pay anyways. It’s more profit to just raise prices.

      • AstralWeekends
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        67 months ago

        Optimization feels a lot less optimal when it leads to enshittification. I have worked on the tech side of accounting systems in the US for the last 10 years and can say that American companies have largely embraced this category of innovation as well.

      • @DrunkenPirate@feddit.de
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        07 months ago

        Interesting point of view - your accounting thing.

        However, that doesn’t really fit to Deutsche Bahn, I think. Your point is rather about a Monopoly but an accounting exercise.

        • @exocortex@discuss.tchncs.de
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          17 months ago

          Yeah it was not specifically only about Deutsche Bahn, but also an observation about one of the multiple problems that drives the enshittification.

          One Point that Deutsche Bahn definitely did was to find out which connections are mostly used by people ( tickets for these connections thereby contribute mostly to DBs revenue) and kind of abandon the less profitable connections. That’s accounting in my book.

          What they did (counting passangers by rail-connections) wasn’t possible before, as DB-tickets were sold not electronically and couldn’t easily (cheaply / with little work-hours) be turned into data sets and analyzed.

          IIRC tickets were priced much differently - they weren’t fixed to specific trains but to connections (no “Zugbindung”). So There wasn’t even (easily available) data to when most travellers were using the trains.

          Today with all the data being generates automatically the accountains know much better what costs and what earns DB money and they prioritize based on that. Once you get into the habit of that even things that are obviously always costs (like fixing rails or bridges) will be outsourced or avoided. (like the supermarket example - it’s obvious that someone has to restuff the shelves, but once you have all the data and see only red numbers you try to separate it away and not do it (so it gets turned into a subcontract with probably unrealistic conditions that some other companies are underbidding each other in order to gain the contract - even if this means that their employees will not earn a living wage from it. It’s a perfect system that also pushes responsibility and blame away from the outsourcing company. they can always blame the sub contracting company for underpaying or not follow safety regulations (even if they can only fulfill the sub contract by operating this way)).

          • @DrunkenPirate@feddit.de
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            17 months ago

            True. Accounting is the best friend of digitization.

            However, it’s not always bad to look what makes sense or drive profit and what not. It’s rather a matter of how religious one is about it.

            Take the second wave of computerism for example. What we call Digitalization. This is mainly driven by opportunities and chances of new business not so much about squeezing out the last percent of profit. This all is accounted as well, but management doesn’t care.

    • dumdum666
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      -407 months ago

      15 years ago I thought the Germans were the smartest people in the world

      What you are describing is racism - positive racism but racism none the less.

        • dumdum666
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          -157 months ago

          Hating to break it to you, but Attributing ANY group as a whole with positive/negative traits is racism. But keep mincing words - probably the only thing you are capable of?

          • @el_abuelo
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            87 months ago

            Incorrect. Racism is the prejudice or discrimination of a person or people due to their racial or ethnic group. Not just any group. So no - attributing something to Germans isn’t racist.

            • @geissi@feddit.de
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              17 months ago

              I hate the word race as well, but Germans are an ethnic group (the definition is somewhat vague anyway).
              Racism derives from the outdated race concept but sadly does not depend on its validity to exist.

              • @nte@discuss.tchncs.de
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                07 months ago

                That’s bullshit, there is no german ethnicity. We are all mixed up in Europe since ages, that comes from constant migration and redrawing oft boarders with every war. Beeing German is when you are born in between the corresponding borders. And, like stated before, there is still only one human race.

                • dumdum666
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                  -17 months ago

                  Of course there is a German ethnicity… maybe get your facts straight first?

            • dumdum666
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              -17 months ago

              No. I just leave this here, from German Wikipedia. Translate it yourself.

              „Unabhängig von seiner Herkunft oder Nationalität kann jeder Mensch von Rassismus betroffen sein. Das Internationale Übereinkommen zur Beseitigung jeder Form von Rassendiskriminierung unterscheidet nicht zwischen rassistischer und ethnischer Diskriminierung.“

              https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rassismus

  • @BuddyTheBeefalo
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    697 months ago

    When you turn the logo of Deutsche Bahn upside down, you’ll see their customer.

  • @zephyreksM
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    587 months ago

    Infrastructure delivers more economic impact with less grifting when it’s not designed and run to make a profit on its own.

    • @DickFiasco@lemm.ee
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      317 months ago

      Right? When did we start becoming concerned with a public service being “profitable”? I’ve heard this applied to the US Postal Service a lot recently.

      • @theragu40@lemmy.world
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        187 months ago

        “The postal service is losing money!”

        No, the postal service costs money. It’s a service. It doesn’t aim to make a profit. It costs money, and we are in turn rendered a service that is useful.

        I swear people are delusional.

        • @Pretzilla@lemmy.world
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          67 months ago

          Conservatives want to kill the postal service because it competes with for profit services they own and invest in. See: DeJoy

          • @theragu40@lemmy.world
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            27 months ago

            Which of course is stupid, because USPS is actually great and provides a much better and more reliable service than any private competitor even in its current underfunded state.

      • @winkerjadams@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        37 months ago

        I first remember it becoming an issue when a failed businessman turned president wanted to run the country like one of his failed businesses.

        • @Zitronensaft@feddit.de
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          7 months ago

          I remember Postal Service profitability being a political issue under the second Bush, too. Trump didn’t start that. He probably even benefited from the previous rounds because he bought a historic post office in DC when it was sold off and he turned it into a hotel. That’s the same hotel where people stayed during his presidency to curry favor with him.

      • @spookedbyroaches@lemm.ee
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        17 months ago

        You want to put pressure on these things to make them more cost effecient. You’re in a capitalist system which does that job very well. But since this is not really a replaceable company, the government has to own these companies until they go public.

      • @geissi@feddit.de
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        17 months ago

        When did we start becoming concerned with a public service being “profitable”?

        Late 80s, early 90s, with the rise of the rise of the Chicago School of neoliberalism.

  • @seiryth@lemmy.world
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    487 months ago

    Germans. Come to Melbourne Australia, and as you get off at the airport realise there is no connecting train to the city. Cabs only.

    Brought to you by the cab industry/lobby.

      • @seiryth@lemmy.world
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        17 months ago

        Yeah but the bus uses the same road as cars so other than being cheaper, you’re getting stuck with traffic

    • @Fashim@lemmy.world
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      37 months ago

      Or the one from Sydney that charges you 20 dollars on top of the normal fare just because. I’m on the outskirts of Sydney and I’ve given up on the train system, they’re either delayed, cancelled or running whenever they feel like it unscheduled now

      • @seiryth@lemmy.world
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        17 months ago

        Yeah the strikes and union action hasn’t helped either. Just give them what they want so we can go back to regular ish trains lol

  • elouboub
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    367 months ago

    Thank the christian democrats and Angela Merkel. I’ll have you know that people haven’t learned and that christian democrats are leading the polls once again.

      • elouboub
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        17 months ago

        Hmm… why wouldn’t christians be democrats? Is the democratic party in the US majorly atheist?

  • @Zacryon@feddit.de
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    7 months ago

    “A nation built on efficiency”. These times are looong over. We had a good run with our Wirtschaftswunder in post-WWII times and that’s about it.

    • @exocortex@discuss.tchncs.de
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      97 months ago

      Yes. But travel to other countries and hear their thoughts about Germany and you’ll discover this image is very much alive still. It’s important to spread the word outside of Germany, too.

      • taanegl
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        07 months ago

        Had some Germans visiting Norway recently. They said Germany is becoming way too individualistic. It’s a race to the bottom now. Liberalism has taken it’s hold, so efficiency will fade away.

    • @geissi@feddit.de
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      27 months ago

      The Wirtschaftswunder also had a lot to do with the Social Market Economy which, along with our train network, has been crippled by decades of neoliberal reforms.

    • laenurd
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      117 months ago

      Slowly and with lots of unplanned breaks in between.

      I’ve never understood why people think that anyways - if you’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with German bureaucracy, you would have lost that view instantly.

      • @DrunkenPirate@feddit.de
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        17 months ago

        Oh, it‘s no better over the ocean. A German colleague of mine just settled in the US and civil servants attitude and bureaucracy is the same shit. Bureaucracy seems to be an international culture.

  • @hackris
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    127 months ago

    Come to Slovakia, where 30+ minute delays are the norm. Or to Greece, where railways are still operated by humans.

  • kingthrillgore
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    57 months ago

    It’s all good though because SNCF is an order of magnitude worse.

    • @exocortex@discuss.tchncs.de
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      67 months ago

      Lol?

      I’m German and travel regularily in France as well. Travelling in France by train is a JOY compared to Germany. Please ask around as many French living in Germany as you can find. Hear their opinions.

    • @Alphare@lemmy.world
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      67 months ago

      In my experience and that of most of my friends both French and German, that is wrong. The French rail system may have its flaws (it does), but the German one is so much worse

      • kingthrillgore
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        17 months ago

        In my experiences the SNCF Infra, rolling stock, station experience is…pretty good! Customer service on the other hand

  • @disconnectikacio@lemmy.world
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    7 months ago

    Lol! Come to hungary! Here the 30 min or even more delay is usual. While branchlines are closed due to the state railways dont have enough working diesels, as most of them are 40+ years old (or just soviet quality), and no money for new, as the EU stopped sending support, due to the corruption of the stateparty-government.

    • nevial
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      27 months ago

      I’ve only been to Budapest and never used any intercity trains but the tram/streetcars have been way better, more on time and generally more available then anything in any German city

      • @disconnectikacio@lemmy.world
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        7 months ago

        yes, IF you’re in the inner city. Else, if you live the outer parts of the city, or if you have to go there, you’re mostly doomed to ride on 30+ years old junk (or even see tram line 2 next to the parlaiment with those 60 years old not nice trams), with many transfers and long walks. But the transport in budapest handled by the (oppositional) city, not by the stateparty. However the stateparty takes as many money as they can from the city, just because the people in the city not voted them, so it’s hard to improve the city transfport without money.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    37 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    “The situation has severely deteriorated in recent years,” said Detlef Neuss, chair of the passenger lobby group Pro Bahn, standing outside Cologne’s main station, in the shadow of the city’s gothic cathedral with its distinctive twin spires.

    Earlier this month, after weeks of speculation over the future of Britain’s planned HS2 high-speed rail link from Birmingham to Manchester, the prime minister finally announced that the northern leg was to be scrapped.

    In an excoriating special report published earlier this year, the public audit body did not mince its words as it sounded the alarm, warning that the company responsible for running the national rail network, its stations and signals, along with many long-distance and local trains, risked becoming a “bottomless pit” for taxpayer money.

    Despite paying some €4,400 for an annual season ticket, in recent months Winter has had to put up with a weeks-long closure of the track between Wolfsburg and Berlin for upgrades, coupled with delays, cancelled trains and lack of staff.

    The company, formed from the existing West and East German railways, was freed from previous debts with the idea that it would be able, in time, to become profitable, with the goal of boosting Germany’s GDP and floating on the stock market.

    The governing agreement struck by the Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals in late 2021 committed them to doubling the capacity of passenger services by 2030, while setting a target for 25% of freight to be carried by rail by that date, and electrifying more railway lines amid attempts to meet climate goals.


    The original article contains 1,887 words, the summary contains 258 words. Saved 86%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • @PowerCrazy
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    17 months ago

    Perhaps the Germans could start investing in coal powered trains?