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Refugees and the train stations in Vienna and Munich

Refugees and the train stations in Vienna and Munich

Old Oct 31, 15, 1:50 pm
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Refugees and the train stations in Vienna and Munich

Not sure how to ask this but I am wondering what the status is for the major train stations in Vienna and Munich for safety due to the refugee unflux.
Are there any hassles with pan handling and general movement to and from trains? What about in the tourist areas of each city? Any other suggestions are appreciated.
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Old Nov 1, 15, 1:41 pm
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While stations in Munich and Vienna have been experiencing higher-than-average passenger flow, the real problem has been in the border crossing at Salzburg. To the best of my knowledge, direct trains are still not running between Vienna and Munich at the moment, as you're required to get off and go through a passport check in Salzburg.

Once you've arrived in the cities, though, you shouldn't have any significant problems getting around or enjoying the sights.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
While stations in Munich and Vienna have been experiencing higher-than-average passenger flow, the real problem has been in the border crossing at Salzburg. To the best of my knowledge, direct trains are still not running between Vienna and Munich at the moment, as you're required to get off and go through a passport check in Salzburg.

Once you've arrived in the cities, though, you shouldn't have any significant problems getting around or enjoying the sights.
Thanks for the update, especially the passport situation, since we will be coming from Vienna directly to Munich. There is an early 6 Am ish train from Vienna to Munich that requires no connections showing on the schedule for early December. I'll confirm that when we get there.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by robtroxel View Post
Thanks for the update, especially the passport situation, since we will be coming from Vienna directly to Munich. There is an early 6 Am ish train from Vienna to Munich that requires no connections showing on the schedule for early December. I'll confirm that when we get there.
I would definitely confirm ahead of time. If you pull up a search for tomorrow, for example, you'll notice that the direct trains are still listed in the schedule, but will receive a warning that "One of the trains on this route has been cancelled. Please note the information in the details provided." If you click on the details, you'll see that the stop in Munich has been cancelled.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 8:02 am
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I was unaware of the passport checks as well. Any guesses on how long this will continue? Also, does anyone have an idea how long of a delay the passport check is causing?

I'm traveling on a direct train from Munich to Vienna in December, and would like to understand the impact this might have on my schedule, as I've been looking at possibly buying concert tickets for the evening I arrive in Vienna.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by robtroxel View Post
Not sure how to ask this but I am wondering what the status is for the major train stations in Vienna and Munich for safety due to the refugee unflux.
Are there any hassles with pan handling and general movement to and from trains? What about in the tourist areas of each city? Any other suggestions are appreciated.
I am at European train stations rather often -- including some that have had tens of thousands of refugees (if not even over a hundred thousand) use them well within the past twelve months. I have not experienced any hassles with panhandling or with getting to/from trains because of refugees -- even at stations that are far smaller than the Vienna and Munich stations which I've used. What panhandling and other issues I've observed in person at rail stations have been due to other things, including intra-EU begging or the kind of stuff that has been going on for decades at these very same stations.

The main hassle is that train schedules are off somewhat more than usual (including service cancellations cross-border at least), so you have to keep checking the latest train info and can experience more unexpected delays from time to time. The other hassle is that document checks are more likely to hit -- more so if you appear to be of non-European ethnic origins; and this slows down things too.

Doing the tourist thing is more or less the same as usual, except there are places where there are larger, waiting concentrations of non-locals than there usually are at some places. Nothing that messes up my visits in any serious way.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I was unaware of the passport checks as well. Any guesses on how long this will continue? Also, does anyone have an idea how long of a delay the passport check is causing?

I'm traveling on a direct train from Munich to Vienna in December, and would like to understand the impact this might have on my schedule, as I've been looking at possibly buying concert tickets for the evening I arrive in Vienna.
It's my understanding that the border checks are being done primarily in the other direction. For those journeys, the DB site says to allow at least 15 minutes, but I would probably allow 30 to be safe.

I would suspect that the passport checks will continue unless substantial progress is made to stem the flow of refugees through Austria in the next few weeks.

Depending on the type of ticket you purchased, you could either be asked to be rebooked on the local service (Meridian to the border, Westbahn from there), or detour north to Plattling, and catch the ICE service which crosses at Passau, which would probably be my preferred route. It will add an hour onto your journey, but the chance of significant delays is substantially reduced.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
It's my understanding that the border checks are being done primarily in the other direction. For those journeys, the DB site says to allow at least 15 minutes, but I would probably allow 30 to be safe.

I would suspect that the passport checks will continue unless substantial progress is made to stem the flow of refugees through Austria in the next few weeks.

Depending on the type of ticket you purchased, you could either be asked to be rebooked on the local service (Meridian to the border, Westbahn from there), or detour north to Plattling, and catch the ICE service which crosses at Passau, which would probably be my preferred route. It will add an hour onto your journey, but the chance of significant delays is substantially reduced.
Thanks for the information, makes me feel much better! I'm scheduled to arrive at 13:30, so even a 30 minute delay shouldn't affect my plans. I'll keep an eye out for cancellations, and I appreciate the alternate route advice.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 10:34 am
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Just wondering if the night trains from Italy to Germany via central Austria are affected?
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Old Nov 4, 15, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Just wondering if the night trains from Italy to Germany via central Austria are affected?
Services are still operating, but I wouldn't be surprised if you were awoken for a passport check at Kufstein.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Just wondering if the night trains from Italy to Germany via central Austria are affected?
Yes, in some ways. The evening/night trains seem to also have a higher proportion of refugees on them than say peak commuter time trains. And the police involved in registering/detaining/diverting refugees have been getting staffed to deal with the patterns as they are.
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Old Nov 22, 15, 10:53 am
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I posted a similar question in the Europe thread, but probably more appropriate here.

I have a paid ticket for Munich to Vienna on Railjet, 23 Dec. It appears all service between Munich and Salzburg has been suspended indefinitely, which was of course my route.

I've never been in this situation before. What are my options and what is the best way to handle it? Note, the train is still scheduled so no cancellation yet from what I can see. I don't want this to ruin my holiday, and am nervous about waiting until in Germany to deal with it.
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Old Nov 22, 15, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I posted a similar question in the Europe thread, but probably more appropriate here.

I have a paid ticket for Munich to Vienna on Railjet, 23 Dec. It appears all service between Munich and Salzburg has been suspended indefinitely, which was of course my route.

I've never been in this situation before. What are my options and what is the best way to handle it? Note, the train is still scheduled so no cancellation yet from what I can see. I don't want this to ruin my holiday, and am nervous about waiting until in Germany to deal with it.
The situation is still very fluid, and being more than a month away, I'm not sure there's anything you can do at this point as far as rebooking. What I would suggest is making yourself familiar with the alternatives in case services have not resumed:

If direct services are not running, you should be able to travel on a similar itinerary to your original ticket, albeit with a connection in Salzburg. As of now, the "local" train service, operated by Meridian, is running all the way to Salzburg, so you may be able to take that and connect with your originally scheduled RJ service.

Alternatively, as I mentioned previously, there are connections available via Plattling.

Depending on how far in advance your services are cancelled, you may be able to rebook via phone a few days before, but generally only if you speak German. (Online bookings are handled by a special department that does not have dedicated English speakers, unlike their booking center.) You may have better luck with email at [email protected].

Personally, I would do a bit of research and print out a list of acceptable reroutings, and bring them into one of the major stations in Munich when you arrive. You are certainly not the only person experiencing this issue, and while it may take a few minutes to sort out, I would not anticipate it being overly stressful.
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Old Nov 23, 15, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
Services are still operating, but I wouldn't be surprised if you were awoken for a passport check at Kufstein.
I've been monitoring night train punctuality into Munich for trains that go through Austria. At this time, it would appear that all night service that originate from eastern Europe and Venice are affected (cancelled, stopped at Salzburg). The DB CNL trains that originate in Rome and Milan (joined up in Verona) aren't. Hope this is the case for just one more day.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
I've been monitoring night train punctuality into Munich for trains that go through Austria. At this time, it would appear that all night service that originate from eastern Europe and Venice are affected (cancelled, stopped at Salzburg). The DB CNL trains that originate in Rome and Milan (joined up in Verona) aren't. Hope this is the case for just one more day.
How'd it go?
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