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DB Navigator Ticket/App

Can anyone explain what the “P1. 16” means on the right hand side of the DB app when booking a ticket? I’m pretty sure the P1 refers to “Passenger 1” but I can’t figure out what all the different numbers next to the P1. represent. I have a pic but apparently can’t attach a picture.
Thanks!

Posted by
19170 posts

It's Pl, not P1, and stands for the platform number. Pl 16 means the train boards on platform 16.

Posted by
19 posts

Ahhhh thanks! That makes sense now. Thanks from Ft Collins 😊

Posted by
19170 posts

It usually good to note what platforms you are using when changing trains (or when planning the trip), so you will know how far you have to go to get to your next train.

Of course, although there is one physical platform, or island, opposite sides have different platform numbers, so when we say platform 2, it is one side of the same platform that serves, for example, both tracks 2 and 3.

Most through stations have a platform next to the station bullding serving track 1. Track 2 is in the "ditch" next to track 1, but you get on a train on that track on platform 2, which is shared with platform 3. Likewise 4 and 5 share a platform and so on. If you're lucky, the change will be from opposite sides of the same platform (2/3, 4/5, 6/7, etc); we call that a cross-platform change. Realistically, however, unless you happen to be on the part of the train next to a stairway, most of your change time will be spent getting to and from, and up and down the stairs. Once in the tunnel, stairs to the platforms are like 30 ft apart, so a two platform change is not much farther than a one platform change.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks..that’s great info! My very first DB train will be Frankfurt HBF to Rothenburg ob der Tauber with 2 train changes. The changes are 13/17 minutes respectively. I feel pretty confident now about making the change with the amount of time provided.

Posted by
19170 posts

OK, it looks like you first change is 17 min in Würzburg, from Pl 5 to Pl 2A-D, right?

Here is the stations plan for Würzburg.

Platform 5 is on the same island with Platfom 4, and the island with Platforms 2 and 3 is next to it, so it is a one platform change in the tunnel. 2A-D just means that the train on Pl 2 is a little short. You will see letters, A to E, hanging over the platform which indicate approximate part of the station where the train will stop. There probably won't be any coaches under the E sign.

Posted by
19 posts

Yes that’s exactly what train I’ll be on. One night in Rothenburg then the train to Munich the next morning for 3 days and Octoberfest! Thanks for the detailed layout, this will definitely come in handy!

Posted by
9878 posts

And of course the platform may change from what was planned. Always check in the station on the boards, and also what your DB app is showing when it's time to arrive/depart.

Posted by
19 posts

Yea definitely will! Also, it’s my understanding that the DB app will also update in real time as track/train changes happen, is that accurate? I’m thinking I should allow push notifications on the DB app for such changes.

Posted by
7024 posts

What Kim said. That happened to me on multiple occasions in Germany. If it's a large station, they will also announce it and/or put it on the electronic display but it's easy to miss - and if it's a small station, you're dependent on the app. So pay attention when you're there because it can change up to a few minutes before the train arrives. I had to make a few mad dashes at a couple of stations. :)

Posted by
9878 posts

it’s my understanding that the DB app will also update in real time as track/train changes happen, is that accurate?

Absolutely, that is why I brought it up ! It helped me in Hamburg in July -- the app told me about the platform change before the screen up on our platform did!

Posted by
293 posts

About the app updating with track changes: As a daily rider of the German train network, I can say that the app often, but by no means always, updates to reflect track changes.

The best policy is simply to go up to someone on the platform and ask them. Honestly, this is what we (Germans) do too, if we are unsure or could not properly hear the announcement or whatever. Asking in English is, of course, totally fine--just pick someone in the under-40 or so age range.

Fun and vaguely relevant German idiom of the day: When you are confused by something, in German you say, "ich verstehe nur Bahnhof", which literally means "I only understand train station". This has nothing to do with the often somewhat difficult-to-hear train announcements, but rather, according to popular etymology, comes from soldiers returning home at the end of the first World War, who simply wanted to get to the nearest train station to make their way home.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks I’ll definitely ask around if confused. Question for you. What’s the mask policy on the DB currently. I read what the website says but what are the riders actually doing? Are masks on the DB being enforced? If so, is it a specific type of mask that must be worn or can I bring my cloth mask that I wear here in the US?

Posted by
45 posts

I just returned from Germany a few days ago. Everyone on board trains, busses, etc was wearing a mask. I believe they require an FFP2 (KN95 equivalent) but many people were wearing surgical masks. I didn't see anyone with a cloth mask.

Posted by
7024 posts

As a daily rider of the German train network, I can say that the app often, but by no means always, updates to reflect track changes.

Azra, yes, I did have that experience and should have mentioned it. My worst experience was in Offenburg. That was where the app was silent about the platform changes and several dozen travelers and I were dashing back and forth to various tracks (a total of 3 dashes). And you are exactly right about asking other people - that is how I managed to (finally) get to the right track at the right time. Always ask if you're unsure.

And I love the story about "ich verstehe nur Bahnhof" - I must remember to tell that story to my German instructor. 😊

Posted by
293 posts

About masks, the rule right now on public transit is a "medical mask", so either surgical or FFP2. Bayern had an FFP2 requirement, but I think it went out of effect in the summer. Cloth masks have not "counted" as masks for here for quite a long time. And the mask rules are both followed and enforced.

However: Beginning on Oct. 1, the rules are to be tightened in anticipation of a fall wave, and there will be a FFP2 (or equivalent) mask requirement for public transit nationwide. So, anyone traveling in October should be prepared for that.

And, Mardee: The idiom is actually rather in use--I mean it is not out-of-date. Your teacher will for sure know it.

Posted by
2401 posts

Bayern had an FFP2 requirement, but I think it went out of effect in the summer.

Correct, since July 27 surgical masks are allowed (according to the "16. BayIfSMV", whatever that may).

"ich verstehe nur Bahnhof" - I must remember to tell that story to my German instructor

You might as well teach him the more expressive variant of that, "Ich glaub, ich steh' im Sackbahnhof" ("I think I'm standing in a dead-end station", i.e. I don't understand anything anymore) ;).

Posted by
19170 posts

ich verstehe nur Bahnhof

The first time I heard that expression was from a woman where I worked who, just out of high school, had worked at the army's R&R resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I said, "Oh, then, you must speak German".

She replied, "ich spreche nur Bahnhof" (I only speak train station). We both laughed and thought that expression was pure silliness.

Years later, I was taking a C++ course taught by a Russian woman who had lived first in Germany before coming to this country. I said, "You must speak German", to which she replied, "ich speche nur Küche" (I speak only kitchen).

It dawned on me, she only spoke enough German for being a housewife (buying groceries, etc). And "ich spreche nur Bahnhof" means I only speak enough German to travel (read train schedules, buy tickets, etc).

Posted by
19170 posts

I'm not including a plan for the station at "Steinach bei Rothenburg" where you will change from the train from Würzburg to the shuttle to Rothenburg.

Steinach's a real simple station; just five platforms. Pl. 1 is next to the station building. Pl. 2 & 3 are on either side of the first island; trains to and from Würzburg use this island. There is one other island, for Pl. 4 & 5. The shuttle to Rothenburg uses Pl. 5. So, you go down the stairs from your platform and follow the signs to Pl. 5 (or follow the herd; most people changing at that station will be headed for Rothenburg. You'll get there with 13 minutes, plenly of time to get to the train on 5. Other people will arrive later on the train from Treuchtlingen (going to Würzburg). They will only have 6 minutes, still plenty of time to make that connection.

I always tell people, a train is not an aircraft. You do not have to remain seated until the train has stopped in the station. Keep track of the time and know at what time the train will get to Steinach. Before the train stops, get up, gather your things, and proceed to near the door of the coach. The doors won't unlock until the train has completely stopped. When it does, open the door (or let someone closer open it), get off, locate the stairs, go down the stairs into the tunnel, and find the stairs to your next platform.

Posted by
7024 posts

You might as well teach him the more expressive variant of that, "Ich glaub, ich steh' im Sackbahnhof" ("I think I'm standing in a dead-end station", i.e. I don't understand anything anymore) ;).

Ha ha ha!!! I'm making note of all of these so I can use them. Thanks!