Every year we plan a few big trips together, Timothy and I. When we heard ÖBB’s proposal to launch Nightjet service to Brussels in December 2019 we jumped on the occasion and included a ride back home from Austria to Belgium on the Nightjet after our autumn Berlin, Czechia and Slovakia trip. However as we all know in early 2020 an annoying new coronavirus, COVID-19, appeared and shook up travel all over the world. We changed our plans to an itinerary in ‘safe’ Germany including stops in Leipzig, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Munich, Lindau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen from where we would take a short train ride to Innsbruck to board our Nightjet back home.
Timothy wanted to visit the famous castle of Neuschwanstein for years, as we were more or less in the region, we decided to include a daytrip overthere in our trip. While we stayed in our hotel the Sofitel Bayerpost in Munich, we made a return trip during one day by train.
The line to Füssen is operated by the Bayerische RegioBahn BRB. Every two hours they run a direct train from Munich to Fuessen, every other hour the train runs from Augsburg to Fuessen. Thanks to good connections in either Buchloe or Kaufbeuren you can make each journey every hour, you just have to change trains when there is no direct service running.
Until Biessenhofen the train runs on the Allgaubahn mainline and makes good speed. Unfortunately on our early morning departure from Munich the weather was rather foggy, so we didn’t have very good views.
In Biessenhofen the train turns onto the single track line to Füssen. The speeds here are much lower due to the numerous curves and level crossings. The most important stop on the line is Marktoberdorf, famous for the Fendt tractor factory. The further south you travel on the line, the more scenic it becomes. The Alps start showing up in the background and when you arrive at the final stop in Füssen you really are at the foot of the Alps.
The BRB uses Alstom Lint diesel multiple units, as the lines are not (yet) electrified. They are modern units as they have only been in operation for a few years. There is a clear Passenger information system with plenty of information screens and automated announcements.
The trains also have some quirky things however. The diesel engines have a mechanical transmission to drive the train, which is quite rare in trains as they usually tend to use a more powerful hydraulic or electric transmission.
The mechanical transmission makes it feel like you are in a car, the train audibly changing gears as it gains speed. Another quirk of the train was the folding seats at one side of the train and the 3 abreast seating at the other in 2nd class. It looks like a rather bold choice and most passengers didn’t particularly seem to like it as they mostly gathered in the 2-2 parts of the train.
As we had bought a first class Bayern ticket we travelled in the small first class section at one end of the train. This was divided from the 2nd class section by a glass wall and door and featured slightly different seats, yet still in a 2-2 configuration.
The ride to Füssen was a nice trip, with beautiful views. However do take into account that the trip takes two hours as it still is quite a distance from Munich. Of course Neuschwanstein castle isn’t located next to the station in Füssen, rather it’s located a bit further on a hillside near Hohenschwangau. To get there there is a well organised bus service, with several lines stopping at the Hohenschwangau bus stop.
- The delicious German state secret: dining onboard Deutsche Bahn.
- VIDEO | Leipzig Hauptbahnhof.
- Leipzig Bayerischer Bahnhof.
- EAST GERMANY | Zeitgeschichtliches Forum, Leipzig’s GDR museum.
- Hyperion Leipzig.
- By ICE from Leipzig to Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg Transport Museum / DB Museum.
- Novotel Nuremberg City Centre.
- Documentation Center NS Party Rallying Grounds in Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg’s Zeppelin Field with the Norisring.
- Memorium Nuremberg Trials.
- Nuremberg’s real-life Playmobil Imperial Castle.
- You need at least two full days in Nuremberg.
- DB Regio from Nuremberg to Regensburg.
- Thurn und Taxis princely palace museum in Regensburg.
- Eurostars Park Hotel Maximilian Regensburg.
- With Alex from Regensburg to Munich.
- BMW Museum & BMW Welt in Munich.
- Munich’s Olympiapark.
- Sofitel Munich Bayerpost.
- Deutsches Museum’s Verkehrszentrum or Transport Centre in Munich.
- Deutsches Museum’s main site on Munich’s Museuminsel.
- Nightjet Vienna/Innsbruck to Brussels, or how we got thrown off the train in Aachen.