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Germany: ‘FlixTrain’ Back on Track After Corona Break

Usually it is not easy being green. But sitting on green seats while riding a green FlixTrain is. After a long Corona break, they are back.

Cucumbers, salad leaves, Kermit the frog and FlixTrains are green. The latter ceased operations in March, when Corona hit and the semi-lockdown was imposed in Germany. Now that things seem to be looking up, those trains are back on track. They move between Berlin and Cologne, and between Hamburg and Cologne.

Main Benefit

At this moment, they cover those routes ten times per week. In August, the frequency is about to increase. According to Flixmobility, the company that runs FlixTrain, a “comprehensive hygiene concept” was introduced. It includes “cleaning and disinfection on a regular basis”.

But the main benefit FlixTrain passengers are the ticket prices. They start at 4.99 Euro (5.82 U.S. Dollars or 4.55 Pounds Sterling), depending on when and how far in advance they are being booked. Booking a ticket for the same day can cost 34.99 Euro (40.78 Dollars or 31.88 Pounds). Deutsche Bahn tickets cost between three and twenty times as much, for customers who do not have a ‘BahnCard’ and who do not find any special offer.

Renovated Trains

Deutsche Bahn does the trip from Berlin to Cologne in 4 hours and 18 minutes. FlixTrain’s daytime connection takes 5 hours and 36 minutes. On FlixTrain, each passengers will have a seat. This is not the case with Deutsche Bahn, but reservations can be made here too.

Flixmobility’s partners just renovated their trains. There are electricity outlets and WiFi for every seat and everything passengers need for “comfortable traveling”. FlixTrains use green electricity provided by Greenpeace Energy. What this means is that the amount of electricity FlixTrain uses is being added to the grid from sustainable energy sources.

The Only Competitor

On the way from Cologne to Berlin, those FlixTrains stop in Duisburg, Essen, Dortmund, Bielefeld and Hanover, and vice versa. The Cologne-Hamburg connection covers Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Münster and Osnabrück.

Deutsche Bahn was a monopolist until the market for regional long-distance train travel was opened to competitors. On the regional market, new players now have a share of around 35 percent, but far less on long distance routes. In fact, FlixTrain is Deutsche Bahn’s only domestic long distance competitor.

Apart from those two train connections, Flixmobility and its partners offer bus trips throughout Germany. They run 1,000 vehicles.

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