Duisburg station - how is it for spotting?

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Tim R-T-C

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Hi all,

Planning a quick summer break, thinking about getting the Prague to Duisburg sleeper, arriving Sunday morning, then catching a later train through to Amsterdam (we have a flight home that evening from Schiphol).

Wikipedia says it is a busy station, but what it is like for freight and variation of traffic on a Sunday? Would Cologne be a better choice?

Also anywhere to get coffee at 6.16am? To wake my good lady up at 6.16 am, there better be a good coffee place!
 
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Quakkerillo

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Personally I'd say Cologne is a better place to spot trains (passenger mostly) which are coming in over the bridge from the east. You can walk onto the footbridge right next to it towards Messe/Deutz and see many trains coming by, and you have a sight of them driving into the main station too.
Both stations don't see much goods traffic - if at all - if I'm correct, as they're routed differently around the central stations; via the South in Cologne, and via the East in Duisburg.

Places in the station should already be opening around 6am if I remember well when I last was in Köln, so that should be fine too.
 

trivran

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Agreed with the above - Koln, Hbf or otherwise is much more picturesque than Duisburg, which reminded of Birmingham New Street with a taller ceiling on the platforms.
 

Senex

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Personally I'd say Cologne is a better place to spot trains (passenger mostly) which are coming in over the bridge from the east. You can walk onto the footbridge right next to it towards Messe/Deutz and see many trains coming by, and you have a sight of them driving into the main station too.
Both stations don't see much goods traffic - if at all - if I'm correct, as they're routed differently around the central stations; via the South in Cologne, and via the East in Duisburg.

Places in the station should already be opening around 6am if I remember well when I last was in Köln, so that should be fine too.
I'd agree that Cologne is better. But both Cologne and Duisburg see hardly any freight because when the layouts were put into their near-final shape in the late C19/early C20 goods and passenger operations were carfeully segregated, as was done in quite a lot of the other great nodal points on Germany's railways too. Think of infrastructure works like Crewe, but on a still larger scale and repeated many times over.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Hi all,

Planning a quick summer break, thinking about getting the Prague to Duisburg sleeper, arriving Sunday morning, then catching a later train through to Amsterdam (we have a flight home that evening from Schiphol).

Wikipedia says it is a busy station, but what it is like for freight and variation of traffic on a Sunday? Would Cologne be a better choice?

Also anywhere to get coffee at 6.16am? To wake my good lady up at 6.16 am, there better be a good coffee place!

We struggled to find a coffee place open at 0600 last time in Koln - found one on the side streets eventually. Main activity seemed to be the police mopping up the human casulties from overdoing it the night / evening before.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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Throughout the bulk of the Rhein/Ruhr area freight trains run on segregated routes and as such are rarely seen near major passenger hubs. As for Duisburg Hbf my over-riding memory is that there was a very good kebab stall just outside!
 

30907

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And on a Sunday morning there may not be much freight going anywhere! Duisburg is not the most exciting of places to land at - memory says a vast open space in front of the station, almost as if it had been flattened from on high... :(

Depending on your plans in CZ, an alternative would be to head down to Vienna and take the ÖBB sleeper to Cologne which arrives at the more civilised time of 0815. You can also pick this up at Linz. The deluxe compartment on this is nicer IMO than the DB ones (which are identical to CD's if reputedly tattier), and the breakfast is slightly better.
NB - if you can't afford/don't want/can't get a Deluxe then this may not apply though.
 

Tim R-T-C

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Thanks for the help. Playing with ideas at present, we are travelling back from a mountaineering trip in the Middle East and want a few days of R&R in Europe before heading home.

What is Dusseldorf Hbf like for varied traction or freight?

I might go there instead so we can go to Wuppertal, somewhere I have always wanted to see. I can't see any mention of engineering work affecting the railway on the official website, we are there last weekend in July.
 

Groningen

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Oberhausen-Sterkrade could also be not bad. There freight to Arnhem or the Betuweline (Rotterdam) passes. Problem is that 1 can only at 1 stop at the time. Freight going to or from the east does not pass Oberhausen Hbf. 2 passengertrains an hour on Sunday per direction and so now and than an ICE to or from Amsterdam.
 

30907

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What is Dusseldorf Hbf like for varied traction or freight?

I might go there instead so we can go to Wuppertal, somewhere I have always wanted to see. I can't see any mention of engineering work affecting the railway on the official website, we are there last weekend in July.

Same problem I'm afraid.

The Schwebebahn was operating fully a couple of weeks back with no warning of closures, and the new units are apparently being delivered. It's well worth the trip.
 

Tim R-T-C

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Thanks for all the help.

Searches on bahn.com for trains from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam keep coming up with warnings on certain trains about them missing out Dusseldorf as a stop, but not on others. Is there an engineering work section on the DB website, I've looked but can't see one on the English pages.
 

30907

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On a quick read, there's work at Duesseldorf for a month from 9 July, but also the usual more extensive diversion via Venlo from late July to early September (which also affects Duisburg and Oberhausen).
 

Groningen

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Between Emmerich and Oberhausen they add a third track. So many freighttracks go via Venlo, And Kaldenkirchen and Duelken is single track!
 

Tim R-T-C

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duesselmartin

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The Mönchengladbach to Venlo line usually sees freight and regional trains only. It is running to full capacity and double tracks are planned. The normal Oberhausen to Emmerich line is not exactly high speed either again with freight and regionals competing for paths.
 

Groningen

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Oberhausen - Emmerich gets a third track. So when that line is closed; it only has Venlo to show for.

This YT has the single track between Duelken and Kaldenkirchen of a freight train at 3:53:26 till arrival in Venlo. Be aware there is a drop of say 30 to 40 meters to Venlo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTukr21GktA

BTW: the part between Zevenaar and Emmerich is since July 26, 2016 not 1500 Volt anymore, but 25000. So no 1600 or 1700 locomotives anymore there.
 

MisterT

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There hasn't been a 1600/1700 Loco in Emmerich for about 11 months, as the ATB safety system between Zevenaar and Emmerich has been replaced in August 2015 with ERTMS between Zevenaar and the border, and from the border to Emmerich it's now PZB. The 1600/1700 doesn't have these safety systems on board and is therefor not allowed for workings to Emmerich anymore.
 

dutchflyer

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As for D'burg station: this is among the most decrepit of major stations in big cities anywhere in DE: Just yesterday, passing through the area, I read that this is now on the list for complete renovation, mainly the rusting and leaky roofs. Several platforms are fenced off partly for risk of falling debris. Another feature of this is that a 4-lane Stadtautobahn (city motorway) is running beside it-thats why the tunnel from platforms to main hall is so long.
Both in DB and in K there are several fast-food/shops open 24/7 and 6.00 in the morning is not at all an unusual early time in DE-normal working daylife there runs much earlier as you Brits are used to. Thus ditto for evenings. City publ. transp. usually starts running around 4.00/4.30 for the early workers.
 
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