Tuesday/ train to Hamburg

4-26-2016 10-36-11 PM
The train route from Copenhagen to Hamburg took a little under 5 hrs. That segment across the water between Denmark and Germany is where the train sits on the ferry! Amazing.

I learned on Monday night that Wednesday  – the day of my scheduled departure from Frankfurt to Seattle –  is going to be an ugly day at Frankfurt airport.  A massive service workers’ union strike forced Lufthansa to cancel 350 flights at Frankfurt, including the one I had to get there for the Frankfurt to Seattle flight.   So I pushed out my return by a day .. and thought to squeeze in one more train trip : one from Copenhagen to Hamburg. (I plan to fly early Thursday from Hamburg to Frankfurt). The train ride was quite something.  When Deutsche Bahn engineers design and build tracks for their trains, they stop at almost nothing.  The train track runs across bridges to cross rivers and narrow channels, and into tunnels to go through hills, or underground.  And for a ferry crossing, such as the one between Denmark and Germany that crosses the Fehmarn Belt Strait, they built a train track right on the ferry’s deck, to ferry the whole freaking train across the strait.   Or at least half the train.   At our final station in Denmark (Roedby), the front four cars were disconnected from the rest of the train.   As we reached the ferry, the train cars were run onto the ferry, passengers and all. Then we were shooed off the train (the train is locked for the ferry crossing) to go onto the ferry itself during the crossing, and we boarded the train again before the ferry docked. And the train ran off the ferry onto the track and into Puttgarden station.  ‘Welcome to Germany’ announced the conductor.

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Our stop at Naestved, the third of ten stops, on the way to Hamburg.
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Here is a sequence of stills at the moment when the train runs onto the ferry (slowly, of course). 1. Approaching the ferry dec k. 2 &3. A large transportation truck drives by, also going onto the ferry. 4. My train car about to enter into the ferry. 5. Almost inside; an attendant is keeping an eye on the train. 6. Inside the ferry. 7. A tour bus has entered as well. 8. Almost done. 9. Coming to a stop.
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I’m standing on just outside the train and took a panorama shot of the train & heavy vehicle deck. There is a car deck above us, and the on the top decks is where the passengers hang out and shop and dine and enjoy the views while the ferry crosses.
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Here is what our ferry looks like. This is one crossing to the other side.
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Approaching the German side of the crossing. I had to go downstairs and board the train immediately after I took the picture.
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This is the inside of Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (main train station) some time after our arrival. My train was a white Intercity Express train, and had left already.
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And here is a view of the outside of Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. It opened in 1906. It handles some 480,000 passengers a day, making the station the busiest in Germany and after the Gare du Nord in Paris, the second busiest in Europe.

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