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TRAVELOGUE: Scandinavian Sojourn to Prague, A Rail Traveler's Tale

TRAVELOGUE: Scandinavian Sojourn to Prague, A Rail Traveler's Tale
photo: RAILTARGET/TRAVELOGUE: Scandinavian Sojourn to Prague, A Rail Traveler's Tale
04 / 11 / 2023

The RAILTARGET editorial team presents the final chapter in our Scandinavian travelogue series. This segment chronicles the leg from Ribe to Prague, a journey made intricate by numerous planned rail shutdowns necessitating several transfers.

Our departure from Ribe was at 9:31 a.m. aboard the LINT 41 unit operated by Arriva, a familiar acquaintance from the previous day. Comfortably seated in the familiar 2+2 configuration, we arrived in Bramming at 9:49 a.m. The drizzly Bramming weather imposed a 49-minute wait, after which we boarded a 10:20 a.m. train bound for Kolding. On our last encounter, the IR4 model served this route. Normally, this service would span from Copenhagen; however, due to the scheduled rail works, part of the journey was supplanted by bus service. The familiar 2+2 class arrangement greeted us, with the added luxury of complimentary hot beverages and snacks in the first class. Disembarking the DSB train in Kolding at 10:58 a.m., the rain was our constant companion.


By 11:18 a.m., we found ourselves aboard an IC3 diesel unit destined for Hamburg Altona station. This train, a sibling to the electric IR4 that transported us to Kolding, offered a 2+1 seating in the first class and a 2+2 configuration in the second class. Crafted by ABB Scandia, it boasts speeds up to 180 km/h. Ordinarily, its route would originate in Copenhagen, but the day's lockout shifted the starting line to Fredericia. Despite these alterations, we pulled into Hamburg Altona station only seven minutes behind schedule at 2:02 p.m.

A swift transfer at Hamburg Altona put us on an overcrowded commuter train bound for Hamburg Hbf, where we were to connect with our Berlin service. The 2:35 p.m. departure was postponed due to the tardiness of the incoming trainset. It was 2:52 p.m. when we finally embarked. Under normal conditions, one could travel directly from Hamburg to Prague, but the reconstruction of the Hamburg railway junction currently reroutes Prague-bound trains to commence in Berlin. There, we boarded a state-of-the-art ICE4 unit, a prodigious twelve-car assemblage capable of 265 km/h, constructed by Siemens. Despite a 26-minute delay, we arrived in Berlin at 4:46 p.m., and at 5:01 p.m., we were Prague-bound. We arrived in Prague at 10:30 p.m., marking the conclusion of our remarkable rail adventure.

Travel Tip: With the current spate of disruptions across Germany, it's advisable to plan for ample layover time between connections to buffer against the uncertainties of transit.