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Amsterdam to Innsbruck and back, by train.

My daughter needed to make a quick run to Innsbruck over a weekend, and I went along for the ride.
We decided to train it because 1. Schiphol is still a mess and 2. there are only two direct flights per week to Innsbruck and neither worked for us.
Everything started off smoothly, Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Munich. And that's where we ran into a glitch. The Munich train station is old and none of their electronics are first rate. When our train finally showed up on the arrival/departure board it noted that the train was going to be on platform 7 and 80 minutes late !So we hung out in the air conditioned Starbucks. We saw the train pull in. The # 7 platform was right next to Starbucks. A cleaning crew jumped on the train. We wander down to the end of the platform. The sign changed to "please do not enter the train" in German. So we waited with everyone else. We noted that a few people tried to get on the train and were shooed back off. Then we noticed that the crowd was starting to thin out, and a few people were moving quickly back in the direction of the station. We started moving too and asked the only train person we saw, "Innsbruck"?? He said platform 13! So we started to run and made the train by not more than 1 minute. Why they had not changed the signage at the platform to reflect this I do not know.

Lessoned learned: when something feels off, better to check it out.

Another lesson learned: I thought an 8 minute transfer in Hannover would be just fine. But our train was 5 minutes late. I also thought that Hannover would be a pokely little local station. It is a big station and very busy. It must be a hub of sorts. Luckily, they do have good signage. We just made it.
As an aside, the trains were packed, sold out in both directions. But everyone was nice. Trying to make the best of it. The AC had gone down in several of the cars on our last train, including ours. We just camped out in the bar car. No one cared. Everyone was sharing their seats. Oh, and no one was checking tickets on the last train. I think they had given up.

Posted by
6204 posts

Thanks for this on the ground report. It's especially interesting that it is about two wealthy and successful social-democratic countries. I believe they may be having the same infrastructure shortfalls as the US, with taxpayers and legislators unwilling to fund traditional infrastructure.

Did you have any perception about whether the crowding was simply summer tourism, or was it 9 Euro tickets?

Posted by
515 posts

I believe it was people returning after Summer vacations. I noticed on the DB website that it often said no 9 euro tickets for this train. But, only a guess on my part.

Posted by
8386 posts

Indeed, 9-euro tickets wouldn't be valid for those ICE trains.

Posted by
11575 posts

Yikes...the Munich station fiasco is one of my fears! If it can happen to the 2 of you who have knowledge of German, lol, with my poor language skills I might never figure it out! I do try to look to see if "the crowd" has zoomed off in a different direction and then try to figure out what train they are headed for.

Poo on the no AC!

I hope the rest of the trip was successful and that you 2 had a wonderful time together!

Posted by
13681 posts

Hannover Hbf is a very big station with lots of vendors and food vendors on the ground floor and below the stairs, a great station to end a night train ride direct from Vienna to have breakfast and coffee before continuing on to Berlin Hbf.