Follow-up on the train journey to FOSDEM

By Andrej Shadura

Here’s a recap of my train journey based on the Twitter thread I kept posting as I travelled.


The departure from Bratislava was as planned:

Ready to depart from Bratislava hl. st.
Ready to depart from Bratislava hl. st.

Half an hour in Vienna was just enough for me to grab some coffee and breakfast and board the train to Frankfurt without a hurry:

Boarding a Deutsche Bahn ICE to Frankfurt am Main
Boarding a Deutsche Bahn ICE to Frankfurt am Main

Unfortunately, soon after we left Linz and headed to Passau, the train broke down. Apparently, it powered down and the driver was struggling to reboot it. After more than an hour at Haiding, we finally departed with a huge delay:

ICE standing at a platform of a railway station at Haiding
Trapped in Haiding near Linz

Since the 18:29 train to Brussels I needed to catch in Frankfurt was the last one that day, I was put into a hotel Leonardo across the street from Frankfurt Hbf, paid by Deutsche Bahn, of course. By the time of our arrival in Frankfurt, the delay was 88 minutes.

Hotel room in Frankfurt am Main
Hotel room in Frankfurt am Main

Luckily, I didn’t have to convince Deutsche Bahn to let me sleep in the morning, they happily booked me (for free) onto a 10:29 ICE to Brussels so I had an opportunity to have a proper breakfast at the hotel and spend some time at Coffee Fellows at the station.

Frankfurt Hbf building in the morning
Guten Morgen Frankfurt
ICE 16 to Brussels waiting at platform 19
About to depart for Brussels

Fun fact: Aachen is called Cáchy in Czech, apparently as a corruption of an older German form ze Aachen.

Platform sign saying Aachen Hbf with a double-decker red DB regional train
Stopping at Aachen

Having met some Debian people on the train, I have finally arrived in Brussels, albeit with some delay. This, unfortunately meant that I haven’t gone to Vilvoorde to see a friend, so the regional tickets I bought online were useless.

Platform at Bruxelles-Midi
Finally, Brussels!

… and back!

The trip home was much better in terms of missed trains, only if a tiny bit more tiring since I took it in one day.

Platform at Bruxelles-Midi with an ICE almost ready to be boarded
Leaving Brussels on time

Going to Frankfurt, I’ve spent most of the time in the bistro carriage. Unfortunately, the espresso machine was broken and they didn’t have any croissants, but the tea with milk was good enough.

In the bistro carriage
In the bistro carriage

I’ve used the fifty minutes I had in Frankfurt to claim the compensation for the delay, which (€33) I received in my bank account the next week.

The ICE train to Wien Hbf is about to depart
The ICE train to Wien Hbf is about to depart
The view out of the window: going along the river from Passau to Linz
Herzlich willkommen in Österreich!

The ICE train at platform 11
Arrived at Wien Hbf
The REX to Bratislava waiting at platform 4
The last leg

Finally, exactly twelve hours and one minute after the departure, almost home:

The REX from Vienna arrived at platform 2
Finally home