Saturday, June 22, 2019

Neckargroeningen - Berlin

Our route starts at the Stadtbahn endpoint in Neckargroeningen.  I pick up some appropriate reading material at the excellent newsprint and book store in the main hall at Stuttgart Hbf. Sadly, the store will close in August because they lost their lease.

ICE 576 is already at the platform when we got there 25 minutes early, but the doors didn't open until 10 minutes before departure. That seems ... silly. Or, maybe they had a problem with the train and didn't want passengers to board until the problem was resolved. Even though the car with our reserved seats was close to the main platform, I walked the length of this 14-car ICE 4 train set to get a nice departure photo ... and they didn't close the coupler covers. Arrgh.

We left Stuttgart Hbf on time at 13:24. By the time we arrived in Frankfurt Hbf as scheduled at 14:52, conveniently enough the car with our reserved seats ended up at the head end of the train due to a change of direction at Frankfurt Airport station, dropping us off close to the main platform at Frankfurt Hbf.

ICE 1316 is made up of two ICE-T train sets. Of course, our reserved seats are in the front-half of the train, so we get to enjoy walking past all 12 cars of the rear train set.

ICE 1316 normally runs as "ICE sprinter" from Frankfurt Hbf to Berlin via Erfurt, Halle, and Berlin-Suedkreuz. However, due to track work in Erfurt this weekend, in Fulda the train was diverted onto the original North-South high-speed line towards Hannover. First stop in Kassel-Wilhelmshoehe. The next scheduled stop was Berlin-Spandau. Due to construction on the high-speed line north of Kassel we were diverted onto the old North-South main line. I got to enjoy views of Goettingen, Noerten-Hardenberg, and Northeim from the train, places I've seen a lot as a child when visiting relatives.

We continued on the main line towards Hannover and took the "Braunschweiger Kurve" north of Laatzen to turn East towards Misburg and Lehrte, passing through freight yard tracks at Lehrte Gbf (!) before entering the high-speed line Hannover - Berlin, taking us non-stop to Spandau. Time to lean back and start reading about history ...

On-time arrival, 19:20 at Berlin Hbf.

We took S-Bahn and U-Bahn to our final destination in Berlin-Moabit.

No comments: