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Basel-Cologne - no seat reservation possible

  • 23 April 2024
  • 7 replies
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We are travelling from Basel to Cologne on August 8. The original plan was EC6 direct from Interlaken, but due to trackwork in Switzerland that train has been cancelled for some period of time.  We therefore booked and reserved First class seats to travel from Basel via Frankfurt (will get to Basel on whatever service we can). In the last few days DB have cancelled the Basel-Frankfurt train, and replaced it with a direct Basel-Colgone service. The good news it is an hour faster. But I am now trying to reserve seats for the replacement train, but bahn.de comes up with “No seat reservation possible”. It seems unlikely that the train is fully booked. The whole reason for travelling this route was the journey alongside the Rhine with seats on the right-hand river side of the train (which we had obtained on the connection from Frankfurt)

Does anybody know whether this train, newly added to the schedule, is likely to open for seat reservations, or will it simply be pot luck?

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Best answer by thibcabe 23 April 2024, 08:16

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Userlevel 7
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Reservations are indeed not open yet. I'd expect them to open in the coming weeks, just keep trying.

Thanks. It’s probably not quite as important on this service, as it originates at Basel, so there is still a good chance of a right-hand seat if we stand in the right place when the train is docked.

Userlevel 7
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If you want some background:

The EC8 is cancelled due to the Riedbahn closure (Mannheim - Frankfurt) from July to December. Trains are rerouted via Worms or Darmstadt and capacity is very limited (these are already at full capacity). Around 40 min longer than usual.

Then in addition the Frankfurt - Cologne high-speed line is closed from 16th July to 16th August and all trains are diverted along the Rhine (right or left bank). 1h longer than usual.

Scenery guaranteed but expect delays so don't plan tight connections in Cologne. :)

That’s very interesting. Trackwork everywhere…  When we first began booking there were no through trains showing Interlaken-Basel, and there’s also trackwork in Germany.
The train we plan on riding (can’t say “have a reservation) is ICE 2556, and shows all the correct stations to run with the river on our right. After passing through Cologne and doing nothing more that just change trains in the past, we are staying a couple of nights, so there will be no missed connection. Onwards two days later to Hamburg.

Userlevel 7
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Yes and they all happen in summer! I mean they have to happen at some point but yeah... After decades of decay Deutsche Bahn is finally maintaing their railways but it means works everywhere all the time.

All big mainlines will be closed for 5-6 months, one after the other (or at the same time).

Interlaken - Basel: there are trains every 30 min, sometimes with a straightforward change in Bern. Although this summer one track of the Hauenstein tunnel is closed and I don't really know how the pattern will look like.

There will definitely be trains running, don't worry: either via the remaining track or via the old steep line. SBB mentions that the timetable will be updated so keep a close eye but August is quite far away anyway.

Yes the train should take the left Rhine railway crossing the river in Mannheim. If DB feels like it (or if there's an issue along the way) you might cross it again after Mainz.

Glad you don't have anything afterwards. I also only stopped for a few hours in Cologne, maybe I should spend a night there at some point! :)

Btw you definitely choose the right date as part of the vital Rhine mainline (Basel - Karlsruhe) is fully closed for 3 weeks starting 10th August haha! They're connecting a new high-speed leg to the mainline. Hundreds of trains take it everyday and people will get redirected to buses between Baden-Baden and Rastatt/Karlsruhe, I'm not looking forward to the experience...

Interlaken - Basel: there are trains every 30 min, sometimes with a straightforward change in Bern. In addition this summer one track of the Hauenstein tunnel is closed and I don't really know how the pattern will look like.

There will definitely be trains running, don't worry: either via the remaining track or via the old steep line. SBB mentions that the timetable will be updated so keep a close eye but August is quite far away anyway.

 

Every 30 minutes showing now, but not when we first started reserving seats.  I’m not overly concerned. We are planning to get to Basel an hour or more before the Cologne departure, so it is not a tight connection. 

Userlevel 7
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Yes it won't be an issue. Seat reservations aren't necessary in Switzerland, they're a waste of money (nobody makes them).

Hop on and enjoy! Walk to the train ends to find more seats. :)

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