End of the Hamburg - Copenhagen Train Ferry

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by YorkshireBear, 2 Jul 2019.

  1. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    The 2020 timetable data is now available in the Deutsche Bahn planner, and what has been told before is now confirmed. As of the 2020 timetable, all direct Hamburg - Copenhagen trains go via Flensburg.

    Timings, northbound:
    Code:
    +--------------+---------------+---------------+---------------+
    |              |     IC 396    |     IC 394    |     IC 392    |
    +--------------+---------------+---------------+---------------+
    | Hamburg Hbf  |       D 08:53 |       D 12:53 |       D 16:53 |
    | Padborg st   | 10:53 - 10:59 | 14:53 - 14:59 | 18:53 - 18:59 |
    | Kolding st   | 11:40 - 11:43 | 15:40 - 15:43 | 19:40 - 19:43 |
    | Odense st    | 12:19 - 12:22 | 16:19 - 16:22 | 20:19 - 20:22 |
    | Ringsted st  | 13:03 A       | 17:03 A       | 21:03 A       |
    | Koebenhavn H | 13:33 A       | 17:33 A       | 21:33 A       |
    +--------------+---------------+---------------+---------------+
    Timings southbound:
    Code:
    +--------------+---------------+---------------+---------------+
    |              |     IC 393    |     IC 395    |     IC 397    |
    +--------------+---------------+---------------+---------------+
    | Koebenhavn H |       D 07:26 |      D 11:26  |       D 15:26 |
    | Ringsted st  |       D 07:55 |      D 11:55  |       D 15:55 |
    | Odense st    | 08:37 - 08:40 | 12:37 - 12:40 | 16:37 - 16:40 |
    | Kolding st   | 09:15 - 09:18 | 13:15 - 13:18 | 17:15 - 17:18 |
    | Padborg st   | 09:59 - 10:02 | 13:59 - 14:02 | 17:59 - 18:02 |
    | Hamburg Hbf  | 12:02 A       | 16:02 A       | 20:02 A       |
    +--------------+---------------+---------------+---------------+

    Map of the new route:
    upload_2019-10-15_15-1-39.png
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    When's the last day of operation?
     
  3. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    That will be Saturday, 14 December 2019.

    17:28 from Hamburg (arriving Copenhagen 22:26)
    15:35 from Copenhagen (arriving Hamburg 20:16)
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2019
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Cheers.
     
  5. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    Please note, I made a mistake in my previous post and have amended it. 14 December 2019 is a Saturday.
     
  6. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    A good twentyish minutes faster going that way than via the ferry and a lot more operationally simple! I can see why they've decided to change the service over to this route until the new route via the Fehmarn Belt link is open when presumably there will be another time saving available!
     
  7. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Quite, though the lack of any stops in Schleswig-Holstein until new trains arrive will annoy local people. I presume they can run 3 or even 4 IC3s in multiple to cope with the summer loadings.
     
  8. Olympian

    Olympian Member

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    Having just come off the ferry on this afternoon’s Copenhagen to Hamburg train it’ll be a real shame when it stops running this way but I’m glad to have finally experienced it.
     
  9. JonathanP

    JonathanP Member

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    Normally they run double sets, not sure if more is possible.

    Since the whole route is electrified I've heard there is a plan to do the sensible thing and get some multisystem e-loks and carriages in to do the job instead. I'm not sure when though.
     
  10. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    The maximum length which fits on the boat is a 2x IC3 composition, so 6 coaches (total length 117,60 metres).

    Last year DSB have ordered 26 new electric Vectron locomotives from Siemens, which will be delivered mid 2021. They're also working on a tender for the supply of new passenger coaches which should be delivered in 2022.

    The locomotives should be suitable for work in Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Their initial use will be to replace current ME diesel locomotives, DSB have an option for the supply of an additional 18 Vectrons.
     
  11. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    I didn't know about DSB's order for Vectron locomotives and call for tenders for carriages, that's great news.

    I now live in Sweden, and the Copenhagen - Hamburg route is a serious bottleneck for Swedish rail travellers. With only three trains a day and very limited capacity on the IC3 trains (there are only about 150 seats in a 3-car train) it can be a source of frustration planning European trips.

    Likewise, with Trafiksverket in Sweden commissioning preparatory work in a direct overnight train between Sweden and the continent (probably Hamburg, maybe beyond) the need for a train with a capacity to work in different countries is very urgent. DSB could be looking ahead to the opportunities to haul other operator's trains through their network.
     
  12. TravelCrazy

    TravelCrazy Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum, but I've wanted to ride this train-ferry for a while and when I found out it was closing soon, I quickly booked myself a weekend away next month to ride it!

    I'd like to make an interesting video to later post online about the line and its history, and of train-ferries in general and why they exist in the first place. However, since I have never been to Puttgarden before, I hoped I could get some advice on good spots to film the trains being loaded/off-loaded onto the ferry. I have very limited time to do this, so I'd like to try to get it right first time.

    My plan is to ride the first train of the day from Copenhagen, stay on it as it loads onto the ferry, but then not carry on that train, instead waiting in Puttgarden for the next train south to Hamburg 4 hours later. This will allow me time to film the next train going north rolling onto the ferry, and then the train I will eventually travel on coming off the ferry. Does anyone know of a good spot in Puttgarden where the general public are allowed to go where I could film this from? I'll have just 1 chance to catch this due to my time constraints. The area isn't Google Street-Viewed so I've tried to judge this from satellite images, photos and videos online, but any real-life advise is always appreciated! I can see a bridge at the station which might work, but are there any better spots?

    Also, any general advice on this would be great - what would you be interested in watching in a 10-minute online video about this unique experience? I've been reading all about this line, but if anyone has further information or even pictures from the early years which you don't mine sharing with me, that would be appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  13. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Having just done the trip both ways, but not having tried a photo for a long time, I hope someone else can offer better advice, but FWIW:
    The classic close-up view is difficult as there is an upper loading ramp for cars.
    The Scandlines passenger walkways might be OK - and it is OK to leave the train on board and walk off (I mailed them to ask, though I didn't do it in the end!), but you need to be aware that the rail operation is slick, and the train won't hang around at Puttgarden.
    The station footbridge I remember as being pretty uncared for, so whether you could find a clean window I don't know.
    Danish passport control at Roedby took 20 minutes on my trip, and German customs were pretty active on the southbound run, so be aware that yiu might be "noticed".
     
  14. superjohn

    superjohn Member

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    Be aware that Puttgarden is pretty desolate. As the northbound working passes through half an hour after the southbound that is going to leave you with a fair while to kill afterwards. The DB station has toilets but not much else. I don’t know what facilities the ferry terminal has but the frequency of service suggests they wouldn’t cater for people hanging around for long periods.

    The small town of Puttgarden itself is a windswept mile away and really not worth the walk, especially at this time of year.

    You should have time to do another foot passenger round trip on the ferry while you wait. This might attract attention but, with the imminent end of the service, I’m sure they are seeing a fair few people there just for the ride.
     
  15. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    But its only the train service that's ending, so foot pax will be normal levels.
    Agree about Puttgarden, but Roedby is no better AND has passport checks.
     
  16. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    Puttgarden Station was only build for the train-ferry connection in the 1960s. It was back then the fastest connection to Scandanavia.
    It even had a large freight yard.
    More significant for the German tourist is nearby Fehrmann-Burg which sees the ocassional IC service from Cologne.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Ensure you are carrying your passport. There is literally nothing at Puttgarden, so if there is any kind of spot check (Denmark is now Schengen) they are unlikely to believe that you are actually getting off there! (This is from experience albeit before they joined Schengen).
     
  18. jamesontheroad

    jamesontheroad Established Member

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    Platforms 2 and 3 at Puttgarten seem to be the only ones in regular use. Here they are back in July before our train boarded the ferry.

    IMG_3817 (1).jpg IMG_3818 (1).jpg

    If you look to the east of this island platform, you can see the other disused platforms. Note that they still have the old fashioned flapper board platform information displays.

    IMG_4574 (1).jpg IMG_4575 (1).jpg

    Meanwhile, at Rødby, there is a similarly large station (albeit without platform canopies), but today the through train appears to only ever use a temporary looking timber platform facing the most westerly track. We experienced the bustitution from Rødby a couple of times in the summer, and I'm glad we didn't have to wait there in bad weather. Both stations are sad shells of their former glory. While waiting at Rødby in July - and I kid you not (arf arf) - I watched a small family of goats picking their way along the fence line on the far side of the station!

    IMG_4560.jpg IMG_4558.jpg IMG_4565.jpg
     
  19. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Useful photos for the OP: the glazed DB footbridge is in much better nick than I remembered from 15 years ago.
    Roedby seems to have been rebuilt to provide a compliant-height platform with direct access to the bus terminus on the west side of the line. There's not much else in its favour!
     
  20. TravelCrazy

    TravelCrazy Member

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    Thanks for the advise guys! I'm not worried about the 3.5-hour wait between the north-bound train leaving the next south-bound train arriving - I plan to get a load of extra shots in the area and some PTCs explaining things. I'll be travelling with my wife who is a keen photographer and she loves desolite places so she'll be happy as long as she can get a warm drink afterwards! I've found a couple of little cafe/restaurant type things nearby to hang out in and where I can eat some Currywurst :)

    I hope that bridge at the station has clean windows - I plan to film the south-bound train arriving from there before I jump on it! It looks clean in the images above, so hopefully will stay that way!

    I did consider getting another return ferry, but it would mean the ferry I'd get back to Puttgarden would be the same one as the sound-bound train so I couldn't get that shot of the train rolling off the ferry.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Where out of interest? When I went to Puttgarden in about 1999 there was literally nothing there other than a few houses - it seemed to be a tiny village with no shop, restaurant or anything at all.
     
  22. TravelCrazy

    TravelCrazy Member

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    well, they've clearly built a few more buildings in the last 20 years, lol! Just take a look on Google Maps... there are a couple of places to eat and a "Border Shop" selling cheap alcohol - clearly catering to those waiting to cross on the ferry.
     
  23. brandenburger

    brandenburger Member

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    Yes, but not so fast.

    The regional trains continue to go from Lübeck to Burg (in summer to Puttgarden) every two hours. There is not yet an appointment made for the closure of the line.
     
  24. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    So if the line itself isn't closing for upgrading yet, and if the new fixed link won't be built for a few years, why is the through service taking the trains over on the ferry not continuing for now?
     
  25. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    Because there will be significant closures on the Danish and the German side over the upcoming years, which would mean long bustitution on part of the route or even multiple parts of the route. Last summer, the railway was closed along various sections of route in Denmark and passengers were transferred by bus between Rødby and Copenhagen.

    By rerouting the train over Flensburg they can prevent that, and offer a reliable timetable all year round.
     
  26. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    It's twenty minutes quicker to go via the land route, operationally simpler (and I bet cheaper) and means you can run formations more than six-car in length.
     
  27. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    Which begs the question, why did they ever use the train ferry in the first place?
     
  28. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Because until Denmark invested in some higher speed line it was quicker! It's so recent that if you take a look at the alignment on Google Earth the images show it under construction.
     
  29. brandenburger

    brandenburger Member

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    For the price of having no more stops in Lübeck and Oldenburg or elsewhere in Schleswig-Holstein. By the way, they seem to have not enough IC2 anyway- mostly you see only (crowded) three-car-units.
     
  30. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    Which section is covered by the high-speed route?
     

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