Well, ladies and gentlemen, may I please have your attention…
January 27, 2022 8:14 AM   Subscribe

… for some very important information. Our train, up until just now, consisted of two parts going to different destinations… (SLYT, audio in German, English subtitles available)
posted by wachhundfisch (45 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
What a pro! That's the one thing I miss most about Japan, how the people you meet in daily life all are apparently middle class, well-educated and efficient at their work, no matter what it is.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:54 AM on January 27 [8 favorites]


If it was a UK train it would probably happen often enough they would have an automated apology for it.
posted by biffa at 9:12 AM on January 27 [6 favorites]


If it was a UK train it would probably happen often enough they would have an automated apology for it.

It's just three "tuts" followed by the words "bus replacement service".
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:17 AM on January 27 [5 favorites]


"bus replacement service"

"Bustitution."
posted by JanetLand at 9:18 AM on January 27


MetaFilter: *dramatic pause*
posted by tonycpsu at 9:24 AM on January 27 [6 favorites]


What's the German word he uses for "messed up"? Geborked? Gebort?

have to say, when I saw this I thought the result was going to be a train wreck:

Our train, up until just now, consisted of two parts going to different destinations.

posted by chavenet at 9:26 AM on January 27 [3 favorites]


"hab mist gebaut" I'm guessing
posted by chavenet at 9:29 AM on January 27


"es <something> verbockt", I think he says? (Source: I'm doing German lessons on Duolingo.)
posted by The Tensor at 9:40 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]


This is fun. I was kind of expecting the instruction would be for everyone in the train to switch cars before the split.

My only memorable experience on German trains was stupidly boarding a train that had just come from the city I was going to and wouldn't stop until it was in another country an hour later. (I think I assumed that sign on the side was an origin->destination indicator read from left to right. . . but, actually, it was just the name of the line in both directions.) I didn't have a smart phone then or any local sense of direction. The train steward helped me find an empty seat despite a nonsense ticket, then spent 8 minutes writing out a long and detailed note for me to deliver to the ticket agent at the next station in order to get a free ticket back, and was unreasonably kind to a sleep-deprived idiot who didn't speak the language the whole time. The transit workers in my city are often great, but I was shocked by the effort they went to.
posted by eotvos at 9:44 AM on January 27 [14 favorites]


"es <something> verbockt", I think he says? (Source: I'm doing German lessons on Duolingo.)

Es wurde verbockt.
posted by jedicus at 9:46 AM on January 27 [5 favorites]


> (I think I assumed that sign on the side was an origin->destination indicator read from left to right. . . but, actually, it was just the name of the line in both directions.)

Ah, a good old-fashioned Zuglaufschild like this? Yes, the double arrow (or sometimes even just the words “und zurück”, i.e., “and back”, printed near the bottom) can be very easy to miss even for a local… They are luckily becoming quite rare.
posted by wachhundfisch at 10:01 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I cannot understand any of the words in the spoken announcement, but when he pauses after the first sentence and takes a deep breath for courage? That I can understand.
posted by Callisto Prime at 10:03 AM on January 27 [9 favorites]


That was fun. I only wish he had included the necessary information of whether the other half of the train accidentally went to Bremen.
posted by Mchelly at 10:19 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]


Upgefucked
posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:28 AM on January 27 [3 favorites]


My experience with German trains was wonderful when I was there for a brief visit - we took the train from Bremen to Hannover and then switched trains to go to Berlin. We didn't wind up with any problems like in the video, but when we did the return trip my wife decided to go grab some water & snacks after we switched trains for the Hannover-Bremen leg, and we only had a few minutes of time before the train left - leaving me with a weird few moments of wondering if I would soon be on my way to Bremen without her. Which would have been a funny story. Instead you get this boring internet comment!

Anyways, I appreciate the good natured humour of this announcement.
posted by nubs at 10:53 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I've observed that my German friends love to complain about the Deutsche Bahn. I disagree with them. I mostly find the service fine; it doesn't have Swiss (or probably Japanese) levels of precision, but I found it to be more reliable than French service, and to have a better network than UK service. (And probably less expensive than the latter.)

When I ask them about it, they usually say something like "the trains are always late", but all I can think is "at least you have trains!!!"
posted by invokeuse at 10:58 AM on January 27 [10 favorites]


The idea of having clean inter-city trains that run anywhere close to on time is basically a dream come true for this American.
posted by That darn sock! at 11:01 AM on January 27 [8 favorites]


> That was fun. I only wish he had included the necessary information of whether the other half of the train accidentally went to Bremen.

The uploader of the video actually put this information in the description, albeit only in German. Apparently they decided to let the other half end in Hannover, the station where the two parts split—presumably because none of the passengers on it were headed to Bremen, but they couldn’t route it to Hamburg either without creating a considerable delay somewhere else, considering that the front part of the train had just so rudely taken its slot in the schedule, and the next ICE train in the same direction leaves Hannover just 20 minutes later.
posted by wachhundfisch at 11:04 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]


Nun, das ist eine Prügelstrafe.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 11:12 AM on January 27


This happened to me, some 40 years ago, on the last night of my interail pass, except opposite: I was heading for Hamburg and woke up in Bremen. I was asleep, so if there was an announcement like this, I missed it. BUT: when I told the staff that my interrail pass would run out before I could get home, they just made a new ticket for me with no argument. I felt this was good service, at a time when teenagers were treated like dirt.

Back then, there were no cell-phones, and international calls were extremely expensive, so my family was in a panic because I didn't show up. On the other hand, it was expected that there were delays in arrivals and communications.
posted by mumimor at 11:18 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I was kind of expecting the instruction would be for everyone in the train to switch cars before the split.

This happened on the London Underground in 2007: a signalling failure resulted into a train being routed into the wrong branch of the Northern Line when entering Camden Town, so the signaller did the same with the next train and told the driver and passengers to swap trains. This worked, except that one of the drivers got in the wrong end of the train and drove off in the wrong direction.
posted by offog at 11:27 AM on January 27 [9 favorites]


My first response to any announcement like this is a little bit of dread that rises up in me. I am a small sack of soft bits rushing down the tracks in in a steel machine. Trains here run alongside freight, they switch directions, they stop.

And then I would go back to reading my book, the feeling passes and I am taken to destination with minimal stress.
posted by zenon at 11:33 AM on January 27


Zuglaufschild = Zug Lauf Schild

Zug is the Zog in Herzog, "Duke" lit. Army (Heer) leader/ 'puller'
Lauf comes from the same PIE root shared with 'leap/loop', and means course/race
Schild is of course 'shield'

I love/hate etymology!
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 11:57 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]


More and more I just appreciate, and am in awe of, the technologies our predecessors provided us. Trains were damn hard to get going right, what with the wheel shaking problem, that became the day's Lewis and Clark crossed with a moon landing. No less than Euler was employed for years on the wheel/track profile problem, ultimately solving it. So, I'm thankful for what I get, and thankful that my morning coffee is not made from reused grounds. If I must watch some rural land go by, so be it, I'll do my part.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:09 PM on January 27 [6 favorites]


I did this once in the Netherlands. A train coming from the north east into Utrecht split and one half went to Rotterdam, one part to the Hauge. The conductor was very nice once he understood that I didn’t speak Dutch
posted by CostcoCultist at 12:37 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


Upgefucked

The one I've heard is abgefuckt. The prefix “ab-” implies that it has to do with something being taken off, though in a neutral way. Going by the standard German prefixes, a better one might be zergefuckt, which implies a destructive action.
posted by acb at 2:21 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


stick around MetaFilter long enough and the found poetry lands right at your feet
So,
I'm thankful for what I get,
and thankful that my morning coffee is
not made from reused grounds.
If I must watch some rural land go by,
so be it,
I'll do
my part.

posted by elkevelvet at 2:40 PM on January 27 [4 favorites]


I always hate getting trains that split later, as I’m usually convinced that I’m sitting in the wrong end. I hadn’t considered the possibility that I’d be in the right end of the train, but that the train would go the wrong way. So that’s a new worry for me.

DB announcements do tend to be a bit more "human" than what I’ve experienced on other trains. There’s even a Twitter account featuring the more amusing ones. (In German).

(You do get the dreaded Rail Replacement Service (Schienenersatzverkehr) in Germany too, and my experience of it is, well, not fun.)
posted by scorbet at 3:50 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


so be it,
I'll do
my part.


I lik the trane
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:29 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


big trane not stuk?
posted by flabdablet at 6:36 PM on January 27


My trane is Bahn
It go Bremen
In half it stop
And go agan

My half is lost
O no, eek, blerg
It hunger for
Trip to Hamburg
posted by Callisto Prime at 10:02 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I wish I got
On other end
Cos Hamburg not
Where liv my frend

It Bremen where
I need to go
But losted frunt
Am make me slo
posted by flabdablet at 2:51 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


It’s also amusing that they are going the wrong place, but are doing so very fast.
posted by rockindata at 3:34 AM on January 28


So, this may sound weird, but split trains are very common in the German rail system. As in, it looks like a single train, but at some point it'll split, with one half going to A and one going to B... and you better not be in the wrong part at that point. They'll tell you, like "everybody keep in mind that the last three cars are going to B today, not A". This can lead to both drama and hilarity, with panicked ppl getting off the train, trying to drag their 5 suitcases to the right part of the train during a 30-second stop.

As I understand it, this train was always actually two trains, and they were always going to split, one going to Hamburg and one to Bremen. Where it got messed up was that they inverted the parts, so the wrong part (or possibly both parts) went to Hamburg.

My sense of north German accents is kind of rusty, but it sounds to me like the guy is from Bremen, not Hamburg... so this might have fucked up his plans too...

I like how he apologizes on behalf of "die Firma," which is kind of like calling the CIA "the company"...

Also, acb: "abgefuckt," or "abgefackt" is very different, it's an actual word meaning "in a fucked-up state" or "in bad shape".

"Upgefucked" is just what would happen if you used German rules but English words in building the construction "fucked up." It's fun to do, and surprisingly intuitive to parse, but not really a word AFAIK.

And "es wurde verbockt" is a kind of awkward construction meaning "mistakes were made."
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 3:40 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I have re-routed
the trains
that were in
München Hauptbahnhof

and which
you were probably
saving
for Bremen

Forgive me
they were verlockend
so late
and so cold
posted by Lanark at 3:56 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


> So, this may sound weird, but split trains are very common in the German rail system. As in, it looks like a single train, but at some point it'll split, with one half going to A and one going to B... and you better not be in the wrong part at that point.

My personal favourite example of this is that both Munich and Hamburg each have commuter railway lines called S1 which go to these cities’ airports and are therefore used by lots of tourists who aren’t familiar with the local public transport systems. As a special treat, both of these S1s split up one station before the airport, one part going there, but the other continuing to somewhere else entirely.

In Munich, there used to be (and perhaps still are) posters at the terminus of the non-airport branch of the route informing stranded passengers how to reach the terminal by bus, because correcting the mistake by train is not a good idea. Unless you’re coincidentally there for the one train per hour which goes directly, this involves travelling two stops back, changing to another platform at a somewhat confusing suburban train station, and waiting 15 minutes for the next train coming from the city centre. Which is also going to have two parts, one to the airport and one to where you just came from.
posted by wachhundfisch at 7:29 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


therefore used by lots of tourists who aren’t familiar with the local public transport systems

The local public transport systems are challenging enough! Every time I fly back into Frankfurt, I usually have to help a half or dozen people figure out the ticket machines (more because otherwise I’ll be waiting forever for them to buy their tickets otherwise.) And I found Munich even more confusing.
posted by scorbet at 8:25 AM on January 28


The primary annoyance with DB trains being late is that to get good ticket prices, you need to buy your whole journey ahead of time, and you need to specify the exact train. If your train is late and you miss your transfer, it's your fault if the transfer time was under 1 hour. For many trips, the suggested transfer is like 50m. Do you enjoy playing timeliness roulette?

When we didn't live in Germany but visited with a Eurail pass, this was fine because with the pass you can get any train. Well, mostly fine — I hate Stuttgart just because once, when we were late, they held every transfer except ours ... we got to watch ours pull out just as we were coming in.

Two other quick train stories. This autumn, I was flying home through Hamburg (Berlin has jack for direct flights) and I was about to buy my S-bahn ticket when two Hamburgers nearly tackled me to tell me public transit was free that day (I think because of the election) and not to waste my money. (Love you Germans, and your deep commitment to never spending unnecessary money.)

My top transfer, though, was in Croatia. My best friend and I took the night train from Munich to Zagreb, wandered Zagreb in a haze for a few hours, and then headed out to Šibenik. Croatians were all surprised we took the train because they prefer buses. (There are historical reasons this will not encompass but the lack of funding is surely part of it.) We took the Split train out of Zagreb and needed to transfer for the last hour, But the very underfunded train was slow and terribly late. It was clear we were going to miss our transfer, and the following train was two hours later, so we asked the conductor what to do.

She, who had already bought and distributed water since the cafe was closed, sat down and called up the transfer station on her cell phone, and assured us the would hold the train. I was surprised — it would be a thirty minute delay — but relieved. So we get into the station and head to our train. I am walking up the steps, picturing the train full of people staring at us, like you do at the late person on the plane, and ... it is empty! The whole branch line is running just for us. And some guy who drives up a minute later and gets on, too.
posted by dame at 12:55 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I have re-routed
the trains
that were in
München Hauptbahnhof


oh god what have I started
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:18 PM on January 28


The primary annoyance with DB trains being late is that to get good ticket prices, you need to buy your whole journey ahead of time, and you need to specify the exact train. If your train is late and you miss your transfer, it's your fault if the transfer time was under 1 hour.

I don't think that's the case, or at least not now. DB says that you can just take the next train. Previously, you had to go to either the ticket counter, or ask one of the conductors to release you from having to take the exact train, but that's not necessary now. Same goes if your train is expected to be more than 20 minutes late. And I had no issues the last time I had a missed connection (DB's estimate for how long it takes on a Rail Replacement Bus from Offenburg to Freiburg on a Saturday in July was just a little bit out.)
posted by scorbet at 1:50 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Ah, that's great to hear, scorbet! I wonder if this is one of the improvements the pandemic has brought to Germany, along with being able to do some Amt business online.
posted by dame at 2:06 PM on January 28


oh god what have I started

Just move to the back carriage and it won't matter.
posted by flabdablet at 9:00 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Ich bin ein Hamburger
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:04 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Today we are all Hamburgers.
posted by flabdablet at 10:19 PM on January 28


If your train is late and you miss your transfer, it's your fault if the transfer time was under 1 hour.

That sounds decidedly weird, given that German rail timetables run on the Takt system, i.e., synchronised in cadences on the half-hour, with trains arriving at termini before and departing on or after to (theoretically) make connections smoother. Expecting responsible passengers to allow an hour for changes sounds backward and passenger-hostile.

Personal experience: a few months ago, I caught trains booked on DB from Copenhagen to Berlin via Hamburg, and back via Hamburg and Fredericia. The connections were tight and trains were late in both cases, though in the former, they held the connecting train for long enough for us to make it, and on the way back, the staff (DB and the Danish DSB) advised us to change to a faster train at an intermediate station to catch up. The system worked flexibly and everything worked out.
posted by acb at 4:53 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


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