DB IC Bus: London - Antwerp - Eindhoven - Düsseldorf

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by radamfi, 18 May 2015.

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  1. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    DB IC Bus now run an overnight service from London to Düsseldorf via Antwerp and Eindhoven, leaving Düsseldorf on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and London on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. This service previously ran as a trial in December/January but now appears to be permanent starting on 21 May:

    http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/prices/europe/ic-bus.shtml

    Fares to/from London start at 29 euro each way with a discount for BahnCard 25s.
     
  2. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    Overnight buses are certainly an interesting idea to fill the gap left by CityNightLine.
    Especially as they are less likely to strike.
    But with DB IC I fear they are generally weakening their own demand on the rail network.
     
  3. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    Will this service be run by the DB IC spec double decker Setra coaches? If so, I'd consider travelling on them as the ride quality, legroom and drinks/snacks machine make it much more tolerable in comparison to Megabus or Eurolines. I haven't travelled on IDbus.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It's difficult. DB want a slice of the market, yet they're at risk of competing against themselves on some routes.

    It seems continental Europe has gone coach crazy since the liberalisation in Germany and other countries! I've been on more coaches than I care to remember recently due to the strikes etc ::lol:

    I believe the coaches are subcontracted to various operators (some DB bus firms and others not), so yes striking is not likely. Certainly the Munich-Prague route is mostly operated by Czech travel firm Student Agency with Czech registered coaches. On this route DB doesn't even compete against itself since the trains are run by Alex/ĆD.
     
  4. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Established Member

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    I have travelled on idBUS, between Lille and Brussels. I wasn't wildly impressed - the coach was cramped and the process for checking tickets (or the absence thereof) seemed chaotic.
     
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I got one of those when I used the trial service in January. As far as I know, they don't have any other vehicles so I would be pretty sure of getting that. Certainly all the ones operated by Arriva Netherlands I've seen were double-deck Setras.

    iDBUS use single deck Setras and I found their check in procedure elegant as they do it all on a phone, place stickers on a piece of paper to show where all the luggage is and you can choose your seat online. DB also give you a seat number but as far as I know you can't pick it yourself.

    My main desire on a coach service is to have adjustable width seats to give you some space between you and the person sat next to you and both companies give you that. Leg room seemed fine on iDBUS and is very good on IC Bus.

    The only thing I would criticise iDBUS is the relatively poor language skills as the drivers only seem to have passable English and I saw passengers translating for them on a few occasions. There should be no such issue on IC Bus given that they use Dutch drivers.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    What would really attract me to coaches would be 2+1 seating with good legroom, not in the bolt upright table layout used in Megabus Gold, but in a more airline-style reclining seat. And not shoved right up against the wall. But only if I could guarantee (at a fee, if necessary) a seat on the 1 side. If the coach had to be substituted, a guaranteed double seat would act as a reasonable substitute.

    I'm also surprised nobody has tried the Megabus Gold sleeper coach for European travel, it would fit quite well (I've used it London-Glasgow, and slept surprisingly well - only waking up each time we stopped for a driver change, which made the journey an odd memory of repeatedly pulling off the motorway because I was asleep for the rest of it). Or is it something that is only possible under UK law?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Actually, thinking on on the 2+1 thing, given that DB obsessively provides First Class on (near enough) every tiny regional service they have that doesn't really need it, I'm surprised there's not a First Class on these coaches - and 2+1 would be an ideal way to do it.
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  7. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    I've done a few journeys recently with the new Megabus Germany operating the new inner German routes. I'm not sure how Stagecoach handled recruitment but some of the drivers appear to speak very limited German, never mind English! Heard quite a few negative comments about it. However, they seem very competent drivers aside from that.
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  8. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I don't know where I got this from, and I may have dreamt this, but I vaguely recall that when the IC Bus coaches are used to replace DB train services, the downstairs table seats are reserved for 1st class passengers.

    The only coach used for public transport I can think of that had 2+1 seating was the Interliner network of longer distance coach services in the Netherlands in the late 90s/early 00s. It was intended to be as an extension to the rail network and the fare structure was integrated into the train fare structure. That disintegrated after privatisation and the routes were taken over by the relevant regional operator.

    I liked the original Megabus sleeper where you had your own berth with a curtain. I don't like the current incarnation where you may possibly be sleeping in a bed next to a stranger.

    The routes chosen by DB mostly fill in obvious gaps in the primary rail network, and they also generally avoid competing with other international coach routes. However, whilst that's good for the passenger in the name of integrated transport, it does little to tackle domestic coach competition in Germany.

    SNCF has taken the more conventional approach. The French coach network has been partially liberalised with Eurolines now running on many domestic routes in France. iDBUS compete against many of them, as well as of course their own trains, and also compete with Eurolines and Megabus internationally.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They have now changed it so you can book a specific bed type (including a double to yourself at a supplement) which is a definite improvement. So that situation is avoided.
     
  10. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Great! I don't know how I missed that but that's made me a lot more interested in that service again.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    ISTR that when IC Bus was new they did sell them as first class, but seem to have stopped doing so. I'd be able to report back on that one if it hadn't been for the fact that the Berlin-Warszawa-Express bustitutions appeared to be a state secret! :)
     
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