Today I decided to compare the two train systems I used the most not just for a comparative article but to let out my anger for one of them.
I enjoy riding trains, there are many benefits such as being able to work or read or whatever while travelling. Riding in Germany you travel mostly with the DB the Deutsche Bahn and more often than not ride on the ICE (pronounced I,C,E not ice). In England there is a whole variety of train companies (around 28) which is a pain for so many different reasons (such as having different accounts to log on to the wifi …).
The actual, physical train: In Germany a beautiful piece of engineering that is spacious and has plenty of space will take you from A to B. On most trains there is a Restaurant waggon with very good food where you can sit down and enjoy a meal served á la carte. The one problem is that its overpriced. There are also the usual snack and coffee wagons going down the aisle which are fine. In England no matter if you are travelling with Great western or Southeast rail or whatever they are called you will never find a restaurant wagon which is a pain if you want more than a bag of chips on your ride. In the DB trains the bathrooms are ok, there are plugs at the seats that work and everything is clean. In England more often than not anything that I just praised about is not the case. I often find dirty trains with no at seat electricity.
WIFI – awful in Germany. There are those rubbish logins where you have to type in your phone number that never work, and wifi if it does work is often limited to 30mins. (DB however has announced improvements, and I am waiting patiently). In England the wifi if it does work its great =fast and easy to access. However on around 50% of the trains it does not work.
EXtraordinary circumstances – In both England and Germany while travelling the train things have happened on my journey that don’t usually and how the train companies dealt with them says a lot about them.
Summer Freak Out in south England. Or what I like to call my worst train ride ever. It was a really hot day in England and I had to get to London from the south. I had a huge suitcase with me and the train was cramped, so cramped I had to sit on the floor by the door. It gets worse. In the middle of nowhere the train decided to break down, with it the air-conditioning died and people started passing out. The police came and handed out water bottles and in return the passengers carried out those who could not handle the heat and had to be sent to hospital. After waiting for an hour for the train to get going again I fortunately just made my flight. Overall the situation was handed horribly.
Migrants on the German Border – Before the Border going from Austria to Germany a large group of migrants hopped on the train illegally and the train had to stop. The police came and escorted the men off the train very nicely and respectfully. Arguably the migrant crisis was handled badly in Germany as a whole, but if someone handled it well it was the Deutsche Bahn. If Migrants where chosen to be relocated they would normally receive train tickets to get them to there new locations and the staff on the trains were trained to help the Migrants find their way, which was not always easy because of the language barrier.
I am not an expert on local transportation but come on England ! Germany is doing an alright job just send an Intern over to the DB and let him learn the trick.
PS: In both countries train journeys are overpriced unless you have a Bahn card or a Rail card. One of the reasons why long distance busses such as Flix Bus are becoming so popular.