A European network to support cross-border night trains
Events related to inauguration of new Metropol night train
Back-on-Track made in cooperation with other train friends events in Berlin, Wroclaw, Frankfurt (Oder) and Vienna in relation to the new NightJet train “Metropol” from Berlin to Przemysl (via Katowice, Krakow), Budapest and Vienna.
From the platform in Berlin by departure:
Picture of some of the people on the platform by departure. The blue car to the left is the sleeping car to Poland. The gentleman in the middle (with the poster “night train to Copenhagen” is MEP Michael Cramer (Green Party), former chairman of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament.
Announcements on the DB information boards (printed and digital) was rather confusing, and ÖBB is not so busy to promote right now. Unfortunately, for the time being PKP Intercity does not sell tickets for this connection via the Internet – you can only buy them at the ticket office. Although we can buy tickets online directly from ÖBB, but only in relation to and from Austria – and not from Poland to Germany. We are waiting for information from PKP Intercity, when it will introduce tickets for sale.
ÖBB’s Kurt Bauer was on the platform. Here in a dialogue with a French and Danish activist.
Video by Matełusz Kujowy. With a Polish locomotive in front take a look at the departure from Berlin. This (the first) departure was without the Hungarian section. It came in the morning.
From the departure in Vienna later Sunday evening.
A video from Frankfurt (Oder) by departure by Peter Hauptmann. Turn the sound on! Yes, the music is live!
Again in Frankfurt (Oder) – this time Monday morning. Long involuntary waiting time here because of an industrial action, which small scale DB management turned into a national wide stop of all DB long distance trains and S-Bahn in Berlin up till 9 AM.
German, Polish and Danish activists welcomes the train in Berlin – even it was late. Worth waiting for! Pictures from the platform by Claudia Kristine Schmidt. Two of the passengers (from Poland and Sweden) are feeling very warmly welcome!
An overview of the four Berlin activities:
Sunday morning, when ÖBB and DB proudly presented the first departure of the ICE train Berlin-Vienna together with an exhibition of the night jet that had just arrived from Zurich, activists of Back on Track and »Pro Bahn« were present and had talks with ÖBB executives, among them Kurt Bauer, the speaker and the product manager for the night jet trains.
Sunday evening, station of Berlin Charlottenburg
Departure station for the first night jet from Berlin to Vienna and Przemysl
Back on track did not go there because we had our gathering at Central station (3.), but local politicians of the Social Democrats and activists of railway associations were there and had agreed with ÖBB that they could ride on the train to Central station to join our event there.
Sunday evening, Berlin Central station
Back on Track activists from Germany and Denmark met with MEP and former head of TRAN committee Michael Cramer in the main hall and then went up to the platform, producing banners and slogans. When the train arrived, we were joined by the group of the 2. activity and by Lorelei from Paris, and held a spontaneous manifestation where ÖBB’s Kurt Bauer also delivered a short speech thanking us for our commitment and talking about the perspectives of this train. As it was pointed out that every compartment of the sleeping car to Vienna was taken …!
Big confusion arose by DB’s sloppy handling of the information. They provided two different times of departure for that day, and in every printed timetable they claimed that the very first train would have coaches only to Vienna and Budapest, not to Przemysl – and then the train came with coaches to Vienna and Przemysl, but not to Budapest.
Monday morning, Berlin Central station
We had prepared everything for our official manifestation in the main hall.
What we could not prepare for was: strike of German railway trade union EVG from early morning to 9:00 a.m. which affected both long-distance traffic in all of Germany and local S-Bahn trains in Berlin. In spite of that situation, we had between 10 and 15 activists of Back on Track, local Berlin supporters, and Stay Grounded in the main hall (under the suspecting eyes of four police staff). We were visited by MPs Gesine Lötzsch (Die Linke / The Left) and Matthias Gastel (Green party) who expressed their support. Short article in Berliner Zeitung.
Most of us had the time to still be on the spot when the train from Vienna, Budapest and – surprise! – Przemysl finally arrived, bringing fully booked sleeper and couchettes from Austria and empty coaches from Poland (there had been no chance of making reservations for the Polish cars), and operator PKP intercity had left unanswered mails by KolejDEPL spokesperson Iwona Budych during many weeks.
We welcomed Iwona who had organized an event for this train at Wroclaw in the early morning and who had several appointments in Berlin for her organization.
We welcomed Lars who had attended the climate summit COP 24 in Katowice.
Both were to deliver a speech in the main hall after the arrival, but due to the huge delay and some activists having to leave soon, unfortunately we had to cancel that part of the event. Both left their message on video recordings.
And we welcomed David from Switzerland who had booked a trip for the first night of this train – and had to take a seat because all beds and all couchettes had been sold before.
Our event ended with a meeting in a café/diner with talks and interviews.