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Train travel in Germany with luggage

I will be arriving at the Duesseldorf airport and will take 2 regional trains to my destination in Germany. Will I be able to check my luggage or is there a special place on the train car for my luggage (medium duffel and carry-on size suitcase)? Thanks.

Posted by
23238 posts

There is no checking of luggage or even a check in for trains. You carry your own luggage. There will be an overhead rack that can easily accept a carry on side bag. Also, there is a luggage storage area on all cars near the entrance to the car. You can place larger bags there. Not a problem as the trains except people have luggage.

Posted by
12040 posts

On the ICE trains, in addition to the overhead racks, there's a shelf in the middle of each carriage.

Posted by
638 posts

As the other post said, the larger storage area is at the entrance area of the car. Always be alert but the main times to be vigilent are when the train is stopped and people are getting off and on. If you're concerned about the safety of your luggage I suggest buying a cable locking system that you can loop through the handles and secure to a pole on the storage area or you can also loop the cable through all the bags themselves. This should give you peace of mind when the bags are not close by.

Posted by
2788 posts

I also will be traveling by train in Germany. We are taking the train from Berlin to Trier with one change in Kohn. The trains show up on the schedule as "ICE" and "IC". Will those two trains have luggage storage for our 21" RS roller bags?

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for the replies. Both the trains I plan to take are RE trains, so it seems there will be nowhere for the luggage? I'm not sure about putting the duffel in an overhead compartment so I will improvise, I guess.

Posted by
19091 posts

""Regional" train carriages are NOT equipped with storage compartments near the entrances" Really, are you quoting from the Bahn on this. It's been a couple of years, but I have definite memories of standing in the end of an RB carriage, one of the few times I was on a SRO regional train, in a compartment with "jumpseats" and room for luggage, at least when the train was not packed. I even have pictures, but they are from further back. But, I only have one carryon bag, and I have never had difficulty finding a place, either on the seat next to me, or, rarely, in the overhead rack. What do you mean by a "medium duffel". Would it meet carryon requirements. Regional trains often have carriages partially dedicated to bicycle carriage. These carriages have a large, open room with jump seats, bike racks, and a lot of open space. The are indentified on the Bahn website as "Number of bicycles conveyed limited."

Posted by
12040 posts

OK, Karlsruhe isn't a place I've spent much time in, so I can't comment about the Straßenbahn there... but I stand by my statement, there are no toilets on the RVN system.

Posted by
12040 posts

This is getting ridiculous... Mannheim is the transit hub for trains coming to and from the Rhineland-Pfälz, not Heidelberg, but I think this has gone on long enough.

Posted by
4 posts

Medium duffel is not carry-on size. Both the trains have the bicycle notation. So sitting in the bicycle car would be permitted? The last time I travelled by train in Germany was 30 years ago. We checked our backpacks in a baggage car on every trip with the exception of one, when we sat on our backpacks at the end of a car. Things have changed!

Posted by
8938 posts

AL, why are you arguing about what the Regional trains are like, when there are multiple styles out there in use? In fact there is a lot of really old rolling stock, but also a lot of new train companies that are considered part of the Deutsche Bahn Regional train system. Some are double decker, some have compartments, some are low entrance, doing away with those high steps into the train. So, some will have extra dedicated space, and some won't. I am going to call AL on his comment about being able to store luggage under your seat on the ICE. The space there is minimal, only enough for perhaps a small back-back or bag. Have a look at this website for a good look at the trains. http://www.gettingaroundgermany.info/bahn.shtml

Posted by
9110 posts

Perhaps there is only one style of regional train on the internet.

Posted by
12040 posts

"I store my roll-over airplane cabin suitcase under my ICE seats and the space between the two back-facing seats all the time. Many ICE-1 rolling stocks have ICE-3 interiors now. There are no seat dividers under the seat cushions of all ICE seat rows. In northern Baden-Würthemberg, street cars (Strassenbahn) with the unusual feature of onboard toilets for this kind of trains are used to operate S-Bahn services. " Oh boy, this is getting ridiculous... I don't know where to start with these statements... I ride an ICE about twice a month... unless you have a tiny bag, there is only a minute amount of space under the seats in the open seating areas, and absolutely none in the compartments. My car broke down last month, so for several days, I had to take a bus-Straßenbahn combination to get to my job in Mannheim, and I also had to go into Heidelberg a few times on line 5. AL must have knowledge about some other area of northern Baden-Württemberg where the Straßenbahn cars have on board toilets, because in my experience, there are none on those run by RNV. Nancy, with the luggage you listed, you should not have much trouble finding a place to put it on your train. I would recommend deleting this thread now, as it has been infected.

Posted by
19091 posts

I'm not going to get into toilets ;o), but the transit district around Mannheim/Heidelberg is the VRN, Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar, www.vrn.de, not RNV. VRN is actually one of the larger VVs in Germany, extending from just outside Würzburg to west of Kaiserslautern. And it's spelled Baden-Württemberg (no th).

Posted by
19091 posts

There might be a difference between S-Bahn(en) in Karlsruhe. Some are called Stadtbahnen and are basically streetcars and go around Karlsruhe and to local surrounding towns. I've been on some them. They leave from the Bahnhofsvorplatz and definitely don't have toilets. There are other S-Bahn that go through the Bahnhof from Pforzheim, eg. They are basically regional trains (except only 2nd cl, so I suspect that they do have WC. One thing to consider. Every WC I have seen, except for ones on the double decker REs, is basically a hole in the car floor emptying onto the tracks. I don't think you are going to find that kind of WC in town.

Posted by
4407 posts

Nancy, if your duffle is approximately carry-on size, chances are good that you can actually use the seat next to you...probably...(to ME, a 'medium duffle' is 12x24)...I've traveled MANY times with a carry-on-sized backpack, a smaller daybag, AND a 12x24 duffle bag when on the way to the airport (hopefully!) or when we got carried away with shopping...NO PROBLEMS on any train. Unless you're traveling at a 'rush-hour' time of day or on a holiday/busy weekend, the RE and RB trains - in MY experience - don't come close to filling up. You can put one bag in the overhead, then put the other one in the aisle if you get really desparate...You'll work something out! I wouldn't be concerned if your two bags are 'normal' sized; people are traveling all over Europe with several bags and things work out. Now, if your duffle is one of those huge monstrosities...Good luck... Frankly, you never know for sure which rolling stock you're actually going to get on any given day; the things DO break down from time-to-time, and you get what they give you. I anticipate no problems for you, though, no matter the particular type of train car.

Posted by
19091 posts

As I said, the "S-Bahn" from Karlsruhe to Freudenstadt is essentially a regional train. It's not like an intracity streetcar, so I wouldn't be surprise to see a WC. And, the S31/41 does not go all the way to Herrenberg. It only goes to Eutingen im Gäu, where you must change trains. If you had ever been through Eutingen im Gäu, you would understand that.

Posted by
19091 posts

I don't know how we have gotten so far off the original post. The point should be, don't carry so much. A carryon and a duffel is just too much, and you can see the problems it is creating. OK, I use a carryon bag smaller than an RS bag and weighing 11 #. Everyone can't do that, but if you are on an American flag airlines, you can carry 40# in an RS bag. That's enough for anyone. You don't need a duffel, too.

Posted by
1035 posts

Nancy, I wouldn't sweat it too much. Thousands ride these trains every day with this amount of luggage and make it work. You'll be fine. Watch what others do.

Posted by
2297 posts

The point should be, don't carry so much. A carryon and a duffel is just too much, and you can see the problems it is creating. Well, it can create problems but it doesn't have to be the case. And usually the problems I've encountered were not on the trains but on the train stations. If you talk about regional trains you might be also encounter smaller train stations that aren't set up with elevators. It can be a bit of a challenge to move up and down stairs with 2 pieces of (heavy?) luggage. You can still do it. Did it a while back with two 24" suitcases each at 50 lbs (books!!!!). There was no way that I could have lifted them up into the overhead compartment. A few times somebody helped me with that but most of the time I had them simply on the seat next to me or in the aisle on the rare occasion the train was filled. Had some friendly teenage boys help me carrying them up the stairs at some regional train station, too ;-) Point is, trains are meant to transport not only commuters but many travellers with luggage. So don't stress about it. It will work out. Mind you, I skipped the train travel WITH luggage AND two toddlers and NO husband to help knowing that there were two train changes in small town stations with no elevator ...

Posted by
4407 posts

Ditto Beatrix - and always know there are lots of helpful teenagers (and others)! If Nancy carrying a duffle is causing 'you' a problem, then please stop posting. If anything, some of you may be causing HER some distress. She never said it was causing her a problem; she just asked for some fairly simple info, and not a catfight over train configs... I happen to know WHY she's carrying 'too much luggage', and it's a perfectly good reason. I think she's gotten her question answered...

Posted by
768 posts

Nancy:
I bet you didn't think you were opening such a Pandora's Box as this. I assume somewhere in all the words you've received some helpful advise. I'll add only this: Regardless of what the travel mode, the fewer the number of bags and the smaller the size of the bags the better. Could you squeeze your stuff into a single carry-on size bag, then most of your problem is solved. Since your destination is seemingly quite specific, box the stuff you were going to take in the duffel and mail/FedEx it to your destination. Less hassle on the plane, trains, metro, bus, etc

Posted by
928 posts

Please consider this post closed. Do not post any further. Further posts will cause it's removal. Thank you.

Posted by
2193 posts

Agree, and wow! Who would have guessed German train travel could stir so much passion among a bunch of Americans? It almost makes me wish I were an "expert" on Germany generally and German rail specifically so I could jump in and virtually bash someone, too. I'm kidding...I really wouldn't have enough energy to correct others on rail line acronyms and whether or not umlauts have been used properly. It's funny...I don't believe any other country in Europe causes this much commotion on the Helpline. BTW, I've been to Germany just three times...how many visits are required before I can also be considered an expert? :) Nancy: One carry-on size bag would be best, but if you need the extra duffel, try to make it a small one (i.e. backpack or laptop bag size). My guess is you won't have a problem. I've been on trains so packed that people were literally in sort of standing-room only mode in the aisles outside of the compartments sitting on their luggage (Innsbruck to Verona is an example). It was like the Darjeeling Limited...crazy!Point is that their luggage (and lots of it) still made it on board somehow. Don't worry...you'll have just two small bags, and they should fit in the bin above your seat on your RE train.