Off to Berlin…


E-mailed by Podroznik in installments during his journey to Berlin.

The Berlin-Warszawa Express. Photo

(Click on image to see the original photograph and for more pictures of the BWE.)

Poznan Glowny, 11:29.

I’m off to Berlin for the weekend. Quite a good connection was advertised from [cut to preserve Podroznik’s anonymity] on a TLK, arriving at Poznan in ample time for the Berlin-Warszawa Express. A 07:05 departure is a bit early for me, but I was up at 05:00 and at the station at 06:30. The departure board showed on-time. Great! At 0704, it is announced, that there is a 15 min. delay. Oops there goes my connection at Poznan!. 20 min. later, at 07:24, the delay is increased to 30 minutes. Then, precisely at the 30 minutes mark, it is changed to 1 hour!

The train finally does arrive and we’re off. The compartment is toasty warm. There’s even a Wars buffet! The toilets are in awful condition, with no running water and snow and frost on the inside of the window. The conductor can offer no advise as to whether my ticket is good on a later connection. I ask him to mark on the back of my TLK ticket that the train was late, but he says I should also have it done at the dyzurny ruchu (train despatcher) in Poznan. [This refusal to endorse a ticket for no good reason is something that I have also experienced. D.]

We arrive Poznan 63 min. late, the BWE is long gone. I follow another traveller into the dyzurny ruchu, where the woman informs him that they can’t give late stamps for InterCity trains, as she works for PR.

So I head off to the InterCity Customer Service Office. There will be no problem travelling on the next BWE. However, they can’t give me a free seat reservation on the next train. Either I can travel with the endorsed ticket and take a free seat, or I can buy a seat res. for 3.50 euro. But she says, you can then get that back by tabling a complaint. Which begs the question, if they will refund it anyway, why not just give it to me for free in the first place, and avoid having to write a letter on my side, and they having to process a refund on their side?

Now in Coffee Heaven, killing time until the BWE (1 hour to go). It shows on time, but who knows….?

Poznan Glowny, 12:15

BWE has just come up with a 25 min. delay. So the waiting continues. I should have been in Berlin by now!

Poznan outskirts, 13:10

I’m on the BWE now. Delay increased to 30 min., and now we’re on the outskirts of Poznan creeping along at 30km/h or so…

near Rzepin, 14:18

White-out conditions now. But the train is moving along
nicely, it’s warm inside, and not crowded.

approaching Berlin Ostbahnhof, 15:40

Running about 45 minutes late.

Berlin (from my hotel) 17:17

Just heard about the latest file released by Wikileaks.

Here it is!

2 Responses to “Off to Berlin…”

  1. John Ball Says:

    Why didn’t Poland look at Britain before going down the privatisation path?

  2. Michael Says:

    Now – something that should be pointed out here.

    Poznan-Rzepin is timetabled to take 78 minutes to go 156km. That’s reasonable – not high speed, but reasonable. But then – it takes another 70 minutes to get from Rzepin-Berlin, a journey which can’t be more than 100km.

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