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VGN Mobiticket
Posted by barry on 2017-07-11 01:35:01
I don't think that my British Visa Debit or Credit cards are EC bank cards - EC stands for Eurocheque. which is a different category of cards and I think was orignally a card that could be used to guarantee a cheque.  As cheques have virtually become redundant in the UK (and Ireland) in recent years, with chip and pin and then contactless cards, I think British and Irish cards have stopped becoming EC cards.  In past times, we have tried our cards in DB machines and they didn't work, causing a few problems at first - now I just stick in notes (but beware of the €50 note problem!).  We have also tried using our British and/or Irish cards in supermarkets (Norma, Netto, Rewo, etc.) in the past and had them refused.  So now I just adopt the German method and pay cash, particularly as my supermarket bills are pretty small (limited to what I can carry in my small backpack!).  OTOH, all my cards work in ATMs, though I only use my Irish bank cards because, unlike Britain, Ireland is a member of the Euro and, thus, the SEP banking system, and ATM use is free.  Which is why I retain my Irish bank account, which will become even more important with Brexit (bloody idiots - sorry for language!).

I have now become a regular user of the British railway netowrk, though it is, perhaps, misleading to call it a network, being a number of different rail operating companies sharing a common track and stations.  As you might expect, this leads to all sort of chaotic circumstances.  For example, yesterday, I was coming back from my niece's in Newport, Shropshire, a journey of around 85 miles and 1 3/4 hours by car but 2 3/4 by car to Stafford and then rail, using two different companies: London Midland (which has quite nice trains) and Arriva Wales (a subsidiary of DB), which has bloody awful trains, which would not be acceptable in Deutschland!  Anyway, the first leg, from Stafford to Crewe was fine but there was a half hour scheduled wait in Crewe (one of the biggest junctions in Britain - note for Juergen, if you are reading this, it has loads of wooden sleepers still in place on mainline tracks!).  However, there was an announcement that the train would be delayed for at least 20 minutes.  It finally trundled up (a little 2-car diesel) and the very polite guard explained that all the trains on that line, which is pretty busy, had been delayed because of a cow (or cows?) on the track earlier in the day!  Where, I asked myself, was I? In one of the most highly developed industrialised countries in the world or in Bangladesh or somewhere?

So, Nick, your plusses and minusses: don't know about Smartphone tickets, but I do think you can buy them in the UK because I have seen people using them. Re ticket machines: when you book online, you nominate the station where you will pick up the ticket, which is usually the one that you leave from - not sure if there is an option.  Can't tell you about German cards but, if you say you can't use them in British machines, I'll take your word for it.  Regarding train announcements, yes, infinitely better in Britain, much more information and definitely apologetic.  Incredibly non-apologetic in Germany, to the point of arrogance and often limited to that liittle strip on the info board telling you, eventually, how late they are going to be.  I know better about how polite and helpful German people are (well, Bayerische (?) people, anyway) but DB's attitude would really feed into the British notion of German arrogance, which is a terrible shame.  The independent companies (Agillis, Oberpfalzbahn etc.) are usually much better, though the on station information is about the same, as they use the same system as DB.

Off to Manchester tomorrow, fingers crossed for on time and clean train, though WIFI is free, which is a big plus!   
                       VGN Mobiticket by Jason on  2017-07-11 02:04:59
                         VGN Mobiticket by Nick B. on  2017-07-11 02:47:59
                       VGN Mobiticket by Nick B. on  2017-07-11 02:54:32
                           VGN Mobiticket by Jason on  2017-07-11 02:56:52
                         VGN Mobiticket by barry on  2017-07-11 03:06:10
                           VGN Mobiticket by Nick B. on  2017-07-11 06:15:26
                             VGN Mobiticket by barry on  2017-07-11 07:18:57
                             VGN Mobiticket by Jason  on  2017-07-11 07:20:10
                               VGN Mobiticket by Barry on  2017-07-12 01:33:10
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