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Bayern Ticket - Check my Understanding

We are a party of 2 …will be traveling from Munich to Salzburg one-way on 13Jul15/Monday. Can you help me clarify my understanding?
1) We can purchase a Bayern ticket at the train station before we depart (no need to purchase ahead of time)-true?
2) No reservations can be made for these tickets-true?
3) We can only take regional/local trains: Regional Bahn, S-Bahn, Regional Express…true? Are there others?
4) If #2 is true, is there a risk that the train could fill up and there be no seats for the designated train we would like to take to Salzburg?
5) At the Munchen Hauptbahnhof, is it obvious where I would find our local train?
Any other guidance…as always, is welcome.

Posted by
18298 posts

1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Yes. Regional trains include those designated "Meridian"
4) I've never seen that happen
5) The departure board will show you the track number for the train. It looks like many of the trains to Salzburg leave from Gleis (track) 11, at the far left of the open shed of the Hbf. Some trains leave from the Holzkirchen Flügel (wing) Bahnhof, which is out beyond track 11, to the left.

Posted by
5555 posts

Departure boards will look something like THIS. Tracks are clearly numbered. Platform 11 is the current one used for these trains. That may change by July. Photo of track 11, Munich's main station

PLANNING your regional/local journey with the DB itinerary page is only slightly tricky. At the page below under "CONNECTIONS" and "Means of Transport" you will need to specify "only local transport" before hitting search - then only trains that are good with the Bayern Ticket will pop up.

DB itinerary page

Start station: Munich (München)
Destination station: Salzburg Hbf

The Bayern Ticket is good after 9 am on weekdays; The first eligible train is at 9:55. The 8:54 train from Munich's main station to Salzburg leaves too early for the Bayern ticket, but it later departs from München Ost station at 9:02, so if you happen to be staying near M-Ost, use that station instead to get on earlier with the Bayern Ticket.

If staying elsewhere, you can still get the early train if you first pay for train or other transport to the München Ost train station. Then use your Bayern ticket from there.

Posted by
4684 posts

From my experience Bavarian regional trains can get very crowded at times, especially early and late in the day on summer weekends when large numbers of people try to get their bikes on board. You probably will get on the train if this happens, but you may have to stand for a long time.

Posted by
18298 posts

Everyone's experience is different. I've been on between 200 or 300 regional trains (not including S-Bahn) in Germany, most of them in Bavaria, in 15 years, and I can only remember having to stand twice (neither one in Bavaria). Both of those times were on commuter trains coming out of large cities (Stuttgart & Hannover) during afternoon rush hour.

Posted by
4684 posts

Regional trains cannot fill up - no one is counting passengers and it would be impossible to keep track as the stops are so frequent.

If the seats are full, you stand.

Posted by
635 posts

I've only had to stand once in a Bavarian regional train -- and only from Pasing to Geltendorf during commuter rush-hour. Every other trip has been low-key with plenty of seats available.

And Track (Gleis) 11 in Hbf München is easy to find ... it's right next to the Starbucks! :)

Posted by
5697 posts

If you're really concerned about having seats ... get to the train station early and board when the train is available. Especially if you have bags to stow in the overhead racks. We got on about a half-hour before departure time (mid-December) and had our choice of seats while those boarding right before departure time had to search for space.

Posted by
18298 posts

"If you're really concerned about having seats ... get to the train station early and board when the train is available."

Fine if you are at the station where the train originates, but not so if the train only stops for a minute when passing through.

However, sometimes a train originates, for example, at Munich's Hauptbahnhof and stops for a minute at the Ostbahnhof. Then it makes sense to board it a the Hbf.

Posted by
5697 posts

Absolutely, Lee -- OP specified Munich Hbf which IS the origin station.

We later went Salzburg-to-Innsbruck (not a Bayern ticket) which was NOT the train origin and were VERY glad we had paid seat reservation charges when we had to hop on during the brief stop in Salzburg.

Posted by
888 posts

Hi Melinda,

I've taken this train many times and I echo what Lee suggests:
1) Yes, I've almost always purchased my the day of travel.
2) Yes
3) Yes. As Lee said regional trains include those designated "Meridian"
4) I've never seen that happen and since you will be traveling on a Monday after 9am there will be plenty of seats. There are trains roughly every 30mins.
5) I've always departed from Ostbahnhof when going to Salzburg, especially with a Bayern Ticket, so I'd recommend this if possible. It's smaller and trains to Salzburg always depart from platform 8 so you never need to check a board. Also, as another post pointed out, when traveling with a Bayern Ticket you can take the 9:04a departure from Ostbahnhof but if you took this train from Hbf you would need to pay the fare from Hbf to Ost (but a zone one ticket MVV ticket should cover this). If you still need to depart from Hbf but want to take the 8:56a departure just by your Bayern Ticket plus a single zone MVV ticket (the same one you use for buses, Ubahn, Sbahn) that way you are covered for the whole journey.

DJ

Posted by
18298 posts

Laura B, your advice sounded generic, note "get to the train station", not "to the Hbf", so I was answering generically, for any train, although I did give as an example the train to Salzburg.

DJ, if you look at the Bahn schedule, it will tell you to take the S8 to Ostbahnhof because that is the shortest duration connection from the airport to Salzburg (if you take that S8 or the previous S1 to the Hbf the regional train will have just left). And it is a shorter walk to the track for the Meridian train at Ost, but if you are concerned about a seat, most S-bahns will get you to the Hbf in time to get the train well before it leaves.

Posted by
11805 posts

Lee's better than me on DB, but I'll share my experiences/recollections.
1. yes
2. yes
3. What Lee said is probably the most accurate
4. I've been on crowded RB and SB. That usually happens at rush hours or specific times (like when Oktoberfest lets out). Then it becomes standing room only, sometimes really crowded, but I've never seen them stop letting people board the train. As I recall you can't use a Bayern pass until, I think, 9:30 (essentially after the morning rush hour) then it was good for the rest of the day. That may have changed since the last time I used it (or I may be confused with the policy of another Laender pass).
5. At big city Hbf, tracks for the RB and/or SB may be a little away from the main tracks - in older buildings or older platforms. Tracks are logically numbered and there is always signage, even if you miss it on first glance. If it looks like the building only goes down to track 5 and your train is on track 4, ask someone and/or look hard for a sign, it's probably in an older adjacent building or out of sight and reached by a stairway/tunnel.

Posted by
888 posts

Good point Lee, S8 from the Airport to Ost is much faster. I was assuming Melinda was departing from the city center but now I see that was not really clarified. My main point was that you can use MVV tickets on the regional train between Hbf and Ost if you depart a few minutes before the 9am start time for the Bayern Ticket. MVV tickets are a little more convenient for some people in a rush especially if you needed one to get to the station anyway.

DJ

Posted by
200 posts

Sorry it's been awhile, but I really appreciate the advice...and will consider the Ostbahhof, too--sensitive to the times, etc. I don't care if we stand, just want to ensure I can get on a morning train to Salzburg for commitments in the afternoon. Thanks all!

Posted by
18298 posts

You say you are a party of two. The Bayern-Ticket is going to cost you 28€. If you don't mind being committed to a specific train with limited refundability, book well in advance and get a Savings Fare ticket for one of the express trains (RJ or EC) for 29€ for two, just a little more. Then for 9€ (4,50€ per seat) you can reserve seats.

In Munich, the S-Bahn tracks are in the Hbf tief (= deep) station, which is under the street to the north of the station. You can get to it with stairs or the escalator just off the end of Gleis (track) 26, the most northern track in the main shed area.

Posted by
47 posts

family of 4 with kids 20, 18 yrs old will be traveling the same route on Sunday, June 21 to spend 2 days in Salzburg. We will be staying at the Residence Inn Munich City East and want to get an early start to Salzburg. The Ostbahnhof station seems to be close by from looking at the map. So to clarify, we just go to the Ost station, purchase 4 tickets from the counter or machine and head for platform 8? No need to get tickets the day before we want to leave, and am I asking to buy a Meridian or Bayern ticket? Do the trains from Ostbahnhof arrive in any specific station in Salzburg or is there just one station there? thank you for any advice.

Posted by
16740 posts

Erin, you should post this as a new question on the Germany forum. The original poster on this old thread may now be getting email notifications for a question that was answered months ago.

Posted by
1355 posts

We have found two train routes where the trains have been nearly full at times: between Nürnberg and Munich, and between Munich and Salzburg. If a family of 4 wants to sit together, I would try to catch a train at its origin (Munich HBF for the train that we rode to Salzburg) and get there a bit early for seats. I believe we traveled on the weekend, that might have been the issue.

Posted by
18298 posts

In the last five years, I've traveled 5 times between Munich and Salzburg - Munich Ost to Freilassing in 2009 and 2012, both during the weeks, Freilassing to Munich last year on a Friday afternoon, and Rosenheim to Prien on a weekday. None of these trains were full. In 2012 I went from Rosenheim to Munich on a Saturday afternoon before a European championship soccer match in Munich including München Bayern F.C. That train was full of fans going to the match, but not SRO.