Buying rail tickets

Deutsche Bahn (DB Regio in Bavaria to be precise) has announced that they will stop selling tickets in the trains – you must buy your ticket before entering. This has already been the case when travelling within so-called “Verkehrsverbund” situations, but now this is being extended to long-distance trains as well. Here is the original press release.

There are two important exceptions given:

  1. If there is no machine at the station, you can still by a ticket on the train.
  2. If the machine isn’t working, then you can buy a ticket on the train without being fined. However, they will check your story to make sure the machine really isn’t working.

What’s important is that you go straight to the conductor when you get on the train – don’t wait for them to come through the carriages as this may not be before the next stop. Also, the machines here have serial numbers on them which you should take a note of to backup your story. I’ve even experienced a station with 3 machines where none were working – take down all the numbers in this case!

And if your train is late make sure you get the conductor to note this on your ticket (“CIV16”), otherwise if you miss a connection your ticket may not be valid for your onward journey if you have a saver ticket with “Zugbindung” (non-flexible).

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