German style S-Bahn and Regio style services for Airports

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aformeruser

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Is this always true? Of the four German airports that I am most familiar with, Köln-Bonn, Hamburg, Frankfurt and München, only Frankfurt and Köln-Bonn have IC/ICE and Regionalbahn connections as well as S-Bahn links. Hamburg has both S-Bahn and U-Bahn connections and München only the S-Bahn, but over two different routes.

There are a lot of plans to improve the regional rail links into the Münchener Flughafen, but as far as I know none of them have yet been completed.

And when I was sitting in an S-Bahn late on a Sunday evening trying to get back to my flat near Pasing from München Flughafen for work on Monday morning, the attractions of a HEx type service over an all-stations S-Bahn seemed very pronounced. The S-Bahn journey time was three quarters of the flight time from Heathrow...for only 20 miles. :(

I was surprised at how poor the situation was at Munich Airport when I visited a couple of years ago, especially considering how expensive transport is in Munich compared to Berlin which has the Regional services to Berlin city centre and beyond but I was told there were plans to build a regional line. The Germans aren't as fast as delivering infrastructure schemes as we might think - when is Brandenburg International Airport opening again?

However, if we're comparing UK Airport stations to German ones what proportion of UK ones have regional rail links compared to Germany?
 
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Senex

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I was surprised at how poor the situation was at Munich Airport when I visited a couple of years ago, especially considering how expensive transport is in Munich compared to Berlin which has the Regional services to Berlin city centre and beyond but I was told there were plans to build a regional line. The Germans aren't as fast as delivering infrastructure schemes as we might think - when is Brandenburg International Airport opening again?

Köln/Bonn was a winner because it was possible to design in the S-Bahn and long-distance links when the Köln-Frankfurt SFS (high-speed line) was being planned. Frankfurt Airport too could be taken into account in this planning. Munich is a more difficult case: the S-Bahn that you suffered is indeed tedious for that distance and quite inappropriate as the only service for a major airport.

Berlin is a case all of its own, and as I'm sure you know, the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt" has been sitting there complete with its rail links for quite some time but cannot be opened because of major design flaws -- a big story in itself. From a railway perspective, the German occasional sloth you mention shews itself most clearly in the (lack of) provision of what is supposed to be the principal link to the new airport. This involves the reconstruction of the inner-city portion of the Dresdner Bahn, to get from the Hbf-Lehrter Bf (low level) to the Außenring, where a new junction will connect into the main-line lines into the airport already built. The plans for this reconstruction started life twenty-five years ago and have been frustrated for probably the last twenty years by the environmental concerns of the inhabitants of Lichtenrade. Only if this work is done can the planned quarter-hourly service to the airport be offered, as there is not enough capacity to do it (at extended times) over the two-track Anhalter Bahn. Mr Whitby might be unique to the British railway scene and unique as an individual causing so many problems, but the inhabitants of Lichtenrade match him in their persistence.

As to the Manchester infrastructure question in general, we may compare a great German provincial city. Leipzig now has a north-south tunnel capable of taking not only regional services but also ICE traffic straight across the city, completely planned and built since re-unification (although there were plans before 1914 ....). This tunnel is perhaps an even more impressive feat of infrastructure building than the north-south tunnel through Berlin, which was able to take advantage of some unusual political circumstances. If Leipzig, why not Manchester (even if we rule out comparisons with Crossrail and its costs)? And then there is the new through-lines tunnel in Antwerp, another great provincial city. What do we lack? Ambition? Vision? Certainly not money -- just look how much per head is spent in the south-east and compare that with the amount per head made available for the other regions of Britain.
 

aformeruser

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Berlin is a case all of its own, and as I'm sure you know, the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt" has been sitting there complete with its rail links for quite some time but cannot be opened because of major design flaws -- a big story in itself.

The 'old' East Berlin (Schönefeld) Airport which Brandenburg is supposed to be replacing benefits from regional services as well, even if the station is across the road from the Airport!
 

Senex

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The 'old' East Berlin (Schönefeld) Airport which Brandenburg is supposed to be replacing benefits from regional services as well, even if the station is across the road from the Airport!
Of course, though the huge station that was very expansively rebuilt to serve that airport is now but a shadow of its former self with one complete platform and one other platform face now without tracks and of course pretty well no long-distance services since the opening of the Nord-Süd-Fernbahn, the restoration of the Anhalter Bahn, and the diversion of the Dresden trains too by way of the new curve in the Genshagener Heide Kreuz.
 

notlob.divad

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If Leipzig, why not Manchester (even if we rule out comparisons with Crossrail and its costs)? And then there is the new through-lines tunnel in Antwerp, another great provincial city. What do we lack? Ambition? Vision? Certainly not money -- just look how much per head is spent in the south-east and compare that with the amount per head made available for the other regions of Britain.

Sadly that is down to the difference in political setup between the countries. Germany's Federal nature allows the regions to self govern and self fund. The UK has a much more centralist political setup with all major decision making in London. Hence that is where the money gets spent least of all because the decision makers see the problems day in day out. This may change in the future with the City Regions and the combined authorities but we will have to see if that truly does lead to self governance or if it just ends up with the provincial cities fight between them for the scraps.
 

aformeruser

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Of course, though the huge station that was very expansively rebuilt to serve that airport is now but a shadow of its former self with one complete platform and one other platform face now without tracks and of course pretty well no long-distance services since the opening of the Nord-Süd-Fernbahn, the restoration of the Anhalter Bahn, and the diversion of the Dresden trains too by way of the new curve in the Genshagener Heide Kreuz.

Just looked at the next departures for Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen and there's a service to Dessau Hbf via Berlin Hbf (from Wünsdorf-Waldstadt) and a service to Nauen via Berlin Hbf both within the next 60 minutes, so even as a shadow of it's former self it still gets 2 regional services per hour to Berlin and beyond. Probably the equivalent of Manchester Airport getting an hourly Bolton service and an hourly Crewe-Airport-Manchester-Chester service.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Just looked at the next departures for Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen and there's a service to Dessau Hbf via Berlin Hbf (from Wünsdorf-Waldstadt) and a service to Nauen via Berlin Hbf both within the next 60 minutes, so even as a shadow of it's former self it still gets 2 regional services per hour to Berlin and beyond. Probably the equivalent of Manchester Airport getting an hourly Bolton service and an hourly Crewe-Airport-Manchester-Chester service.

Don't forget the S-Bahn.
 

Senex

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Sadly that is down to the difference in political setup between the countries. Germany's Federal nature allows the regions to self govern and self fund. The UK has a much more centralist political setup with all major decision making in London. Hence that is where the money gets spent least of all because the decision makers see the problems day in day out. This may change in the future with the City Regions and the combined authorities but we will have to see if that truly does lead to self governance or if it just ends up with the provincial cities fight between them for the scraps.
Just so -- indeed, England must now be just about the most centralist and centralised country left in Europe after all the moves in recent years towards regionalisation elsewhere in the continent. Even France, which once had the reputation as the most centralised of all, has now devolved extensive powers to its regions.
 

30907

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Mods' note: split from North franchises ‘will not deliver transformational infrastructure’


I was surprised at how poor the situation was at Munich Airport when I visited a couple of years ago, especially considering how expensive transport is in Munich compared to Berlin which has the Regional services to Berlin city centre and beyond but I was told there were plans to build a regional line. The Germans aren't as fast as delivering infrastructure schemes as we might think - when is Brandenburg International Airport opening again?

However, if we're comparing UK Airport stations to German ones what proportion of UK ones have regional rail links compared to Germany?

Hasn't Munich been bedevilled by arguments over maglev v conventional rail?

As to regional rail links in the UK, isn't Heathrow the exception in NOT having any regional links? Ignoring Newcastle which has no heavy rail, and Durham Tees Valley which....:)
 

coppercapped

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Hasn't Munich been bedevilled by arguments over maglev v conventional rail?

As to regional rail links in the UK, isn't Heathrow the exception in NOT having any regional links? Ignoring Newcastle which has no heavy rail, and Durham Tees Valley which....:)

The Maglev proposal was dropped in 2008, or thereabouts. It was eye-wateringly expensive and would have required a new route to the Hauptbahnhof from the, long since closed, S-Bahn station specially built for the 1972 Olympic Games under a highly populated built up area to the HBf.

The costs kept escalating and the Bavarian government wanted the Federal government to finance the excess. When the Federal government refused to increase its offer the whole thing was dropped.

Bournemouth Airport has no links at all....
 
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Bletchleyite

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Hamburg airport didn't have a rail connection until something like 5-10 years ago - it was a shuttle bus to Ohlsdorf (or a commercial bus to Altona or Hbf).
 

Gordon

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Just looked at the next departures for Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen and there's a service to Dessau Hbf via Berlin Hbf

The problem with the Schönefeld (SXF) - Dessau service is that it is largely pointless as a regional service. It used to be routed directly westbound from SXF along the Aussenring, before using a chord to join the line south at Seddin - a journey that freight trains can still do in about 20 minutes, but under the current arrangement an RE7 train goes anticlockwise from SXF through Berlin to reach a point where it crosses the Aussenring near the very same Seddin, no less than 69 minutes later!

The SXF arrangement in general only exists because of the way East Germany surrounded West Berlin and to get from eastern Berlin to Potsdam you had to go round the Aussenring south clockwise via SXF

ps
The 'old' East Berlin (Schönefeld) Airport which Brandenburg is supposed to be replacing

is also intended to replace Berlin Tegel, (developed in the 1960s to serve West Berlin)


returning to UK:

I think proportionately the busier UK airports have reasonable railed transport links.

Gatwick
Stansted
Heathrow
London City
Southampton
Birmingham
Luton
Edinburgh
Newcastle
Manchester
Prestwick


.
 
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WestCoast

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The Maglev proposal was dropped in 2008, or thereabouts. It was eye-wateringly expensive and would have required a new route to the Hauptbahnhof from the, long since closed, S-Bahn station specially built for the 1972 Olympic Games under a highly populated built up area to the HBf.

The costs kept escalating and the Bavarian government wanted the Federal government to finance the excess. When the Federal government refused to increase its offer the whole thing was dropped.

Bournemouth Airport has no links at all....

There was also talk of an 'express' S-Bahn service a few years ago, intended to use the S8 line via Ismaning IIRC.
 

Groningen

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Aberdeen has Dyce as railwaystation. But the ticketprice for Heathrow seems to be more than to be expected. 17 Pounds for a journey of 15 minutes is ridiculous! So what is wrong with Muenchen? Expensive? Look first at United Kingdom please. It is 40 minutes with 6 train an hour or with the car 40 kilometers. In the Netherlands it would be around 8,30 euro.
 

30907

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Bournemouth Airport has no links at all....

Not the only one in UK by a long way - or Germany. I was referring to the airports that have a rail link of some sort.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Maglev proposal was dropped in 2008, or thereabouts. It was eye-wateringly expensive and would have required a new route to the Hauptbahnhof from the, long since closed, S-Bahn station specially built for the 1972 Olympic Games under a highly populated built up area to the HBf.

The costs kept escalating and the Bavarian government wanted the Federal government to finance the excess. When the Federal government refused to increase its offer the whole thing was dropped.

Thanks for update, shows how long it is since I checked.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The problem with the Schönefeld (SXF) - Dessau service is that it is largely pointless as a regional service. It used to be routed directly westbound from SXF along the Aussenring, before using a chord to join the line south at Seddin

There's still a service that way but it now goes straight round the Ring to Potsdam rather than round via Seddin and Ferch. The old route was handy the one time I wanted to get to a meeting in Seddin, but even with the Dessau connection I don't think there was a vast takeup :)
 

coppercapped

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Aberdeen has Dyce as railwaystation. But the ticketprice for Heathrow seems to be more than to be expected. 17 Pounds for a journey of 15 minutes is ridiculous! So what is wrong with Muenchen? Expensive? Look first at United Kingdom please. It is 40 minutes with 6 train an hour or with the car 40 kilometers. In the Netherlands it would be around 8,30 euro.

There are many ways to reach Heathrow Airport from central London: car, taxi, bus, Underground, Heathrow Connect, Heathrow Express and various combinations.

The Heathrow Express fare should be compared with its main competition.

A taxi to central London (somewhere around Covent Garden) would be about £70.

A private car going into central London during the working day from Monday to Friday will have to pay the Congestion Charge of £11.50, see

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge?cid=pp020

on top of the normal running expenses of the car.

A 'booked in advance' taxi will cost about £40 to the same area. All these road variants will take about 45-60 minutes off-peak and longer than that in peak times. 'Peak times' now last about 3 to 4 hours each morning and afternoon...

Against this, the rail options from Paddington are good value and quick - even if a tube journey is needed to get from Paddington to your start or end point. This constraint will be eased when Crossrail comes into operation as it will give a wider choice of destinations across central London, but such a two-stage journey is always needed if public transport is used.

Using the Piccadilly line to get to Heathrow is certainly cheaper than the other rail options, but it is quite slow, being essentially all stations (except for a short stretch), the ride is bumpy and the seat comfort limited as is the space for luggage - especially in the peaks. It takes about 55 minutes from Covent Garden to Terminal 5 at Heathrow and costs £6 (€7.75) for a cash fare, less if using an Oyster card.

What is wrong with slow access to airports is that planes are so quick. It takes 1 hour to get from Heathrow to München. There is an hour time shift between the UK and Germany and my work started at 7.30 on Monday morning. The last thing I wanted to do is to sit in Ismaning station at 22.50, having left home at about 16.00, knowing that I still had the best part of an hour to go before I reached Pasing and could get to bed. Getting from the Münchener Flughafen to my bed took just as long, if not longer, than the flight from Heathrow to München. One leg was 35 km long and the other 950km.

I would happily have paid extra for a fast train link to München, I frequently did pay for a taxi direct from the airport to my flat. Getting into bed the best part of an hour earlier was well worth the €30 or so it cost me instead of the €9 or €10 that the S-Bahn cost - and I still had to pay for a taxi at Pasing as by that time on a Sunday night the buses past my flat no longer ran.

Travel is not always about doing it the cheapest way possible.
 
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