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Please God let Deutsche Bahn run Spain’s trains

For example, a decade later, Deutsche Bahn continues to offer better Spanish timetable info than Renfe, the data's owner, and in English.

Posted by Mr Baldie on Thursday August 23rd 2012. 2 comments

Tudela to Vitoria on August 29. Renfe's route planner:

00622 ALVIA 12.12 14.08 1 h. 56 min.

DB:

dep 07:13 arr 09:50 2:37 1 R
dep 12:12 arr 14:08 1:56 0 A
dep 15:12 arr 17:49 2:37 1 R

You see, those scheming Germans have used the same data but added a hundred lines of code to include train changes in the results, and it's been that way for a decade.

Both companies currently have the ability to add another hundred lines and enable cyclists to select a bike-permissive service. The German site says they can do it but then backs off with the feeble excuse that they can't invoice the result. The Spanish site doesn't even mention the topic, and customer service in Barcelona may actually give you false information about availability in other parts of Spain.

No guesses as to who will crack these nuts first, whatever the cost to German taxpayers. Even better would be to copy some aspects of British liberalisation and open up data access so that more or less anyone can set up a timetable and ticket purchase site, but neither the Spanish nor the German state operates like that.

Background from Wikipedia:
  • Bicycle touring generally means self-contained cycling trips over long distances, which prioritize pleasure, adventure and autonomy rather than sport, commuting or exercise.
  • Deutsche Bahn AG is a German railway company.
  • The privatisation of British Rail was set in motion when the Conservative government enacted, on 19 January 1993, the British Coal and British Rail Act 1993.
  • Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge", 1435-mm "European gauge" and 1000-mm "Metre Gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF.

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  1. Iestyn ap Robert says:

    Oh, I've been using the Reichsbahn website for years to work out the best connections between Jerez de la Frontera and Málaga. The connections are usually at Dos Hermanas and Bobadilla, but you'd never be able to find that out from the RENFE website...

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