Open access operator Flixtrain restarted its Cologne-Hamburg service yesterday, following suspension during Covid-19.

Although only one train is currently operating in each direction on most days, the frequency will rise as demand increases.

As regular readers will know Flixtrain’s trains are economical to use.

Its prices are for simple one-way trips just like low-cost airlines.

It can afford to charge less than its national rival Deutsche Bahn (DB) because it does not operate fancy high-speed ICEs.

Flixtrain deploys conventional rolling stock hauled by a conventional locomotive running over conventional track.

As you can see from the above Flixtrain has refurbished its rolling stock and given itself a brighter livery.

An interesting point is that windows can be opened slightly for fresh air which is rarity on mainline trains nowadays.

For this Monday its one-way fare for Cologne-Hamburg is €29.99 and this price is valid as I write during lunchtime on Friday July 25.

Schedules are as follows:

  • Cologne (Central) departing 0701, arriving into Hamburg (Central) at 1108
  • Hamburg (Central) departing 1650, arriving into Cologne (Central) at 2057

There are several en route stops at key stations.

However Flixtrain, like the UK’s open access firms, feels disadvantaged compared to the government money given to DB to support its operations.

Handlesblatt reports that this year alone DB is to receive €5.5 to €6.7 billion to cover the consequences of Covid-19.