Sunday, August 12, 2007

What's up with the RNV?

Last night we went to a party in Rohrbach. We checked the schedule and found that a 23 tram, run by the local transportation gurus RNV, went there from the Bismarckplatz very frequently, so we figured this would be a pretty easy trip. (The route of the 23 as shown on the map and on schedules is from the Bismarckplatz to Leimen.) So, we went over to the Bismarckplatz to wait.

We missed the first scheduled 23 because we were still trying to get a ticket out of the machine, which would take neither a card nor cash. Basically it was unusable, but it didn't say so until you got to the payment screen. Very annoying.

The second 23 scheduled said "Stadtbuecherei/Betriebshof" on it as a destination instead of Rohrbach/Leimen. But, it's a 23, right? No sign, schedule, or map anywhere ever says the 23 goes anywhere but Leimen. And it's scheduled to go there. So it should. So, we figured those were just on the way and got on. Then we found out that the train actually wasn't going to Leimen at all. We got back off. So did at least 20 other people who had also been fooled. We all waited for the next scheduled 23.

When it came, it again said "Stadtbuecherei/Betriebshof" on it. Maybe it's just a mistake, we thought. How can two scheduled trains in a row not go to their intended destinations and leave us all standing here like idiots? We got on and tried to make our way to the front to ask the driver if the train was going to Rohrbach. Before we could make it that far, the doors closed and we took off. Then we found out it wasn't going to Rohrbach either. Luckily we could continue to wait for our train at the next stop. We and quite a few people got off there to wait for a real 23.

Finally it came, after about 40 minutes of waiting. The real 23, going to Leimen.

We enjoyed the party and a few of us took a look at the schedule to go back to the Bismarckplatz at the end of the night. It looked like it came every 30 mintues. Scheduled 23s. Doing the 23 route. The route of the 23 on all schedules is between Leimen and the Bismarckplatz. NO OTHER ROUTE IS LISTED OR SHOWN ON ANY SCHEDULE, MAP, OR SIGN. So of course this train, coming only every half hour, is going to take us where all schedules, maps, and signs tell us it's going to take us, right?


It took us to the freaking Hauptbahnhof instead, where we had to wait 20 minutes for a barf-smelling Moonliner to take us to the Bismarckplatz.

RNV, what is your deal, eh? You have a tram called the 23. It has a route. Why doesn't it go this route, 3 times out of the 5 that we tried? Why is there no note, ever, anywhere, that you might just take some other route and leave us high and dry? Are you just screwing with the routes so you can go park your tram/bus/whatever at the Betriebshof? Then these routes should not be scheduled as regular!! You can't say a train's coming at 12:54 to take us to the Bismarckplatz, and then just not go there!!

You suck!

In other news, we're about to go on a little trip that requires dress clothes. We finally had to buy an ironing board after 9 months ...actually more than that now, 11 months of never needing one. And we'll probably go another 11 months without needing one. Unfortunately for us, the cheapest ironing board available at Woolworth (closest place, we have no car) was 30 EURO. God, the world hates those without money.


  1. You ran into a little quirk.

    The Line 23 cars going "Stadtbücherei / Betriebshof" are
    cars that go to the depot (in the evening). Basically the same as with those Line 23 coming in from Leimen and going "Römerkreis Süd / Betriebshof".
    "Stadtbücherei" and "Römerkreis Süd" are just the last stops on their regular route.

    The streetcars departing Bismarckplatz at 20:20 and 20:30 are exactly the two that go to the depot on Saturdays. Monday to Friday it's the one at 20:30 only, Sundays it's the one at 20:00 or so.

    And they are actually marked in the schedules. Don't remember how (probably a little "B" next to the time, and a footnote for "B") - but they are. It's just a bit hard to notice :)

    Btw: Not all Line 23 in the morning depart from Bismarckplatz either. The first 5 or so all go straight from the depot towards Leimen. It wouldn't make much sense for these to take the extra 10 minutes to go to Bismarckplatz and back.

  2. Dang, dude! I bow down to the RNV megaguru!
    I can't believe we got so unlucky. I always figured buses or trams that are leaving service would do the usual route then go "Leerfahrt" to parking, like they do in Boston/Chicago. Alas!

  3. Well, they figured they'd provide "extra service" - better to have them go part of the route with passengers than having them empty ;)

    You picked exactly the spot where the schedule turns from 10-minute interval to 30-minute interval. Since that means they have to suddenly "skip" two trains, they have exactly these two go towards the depot in a row. If you know exactly which trains these are, these are also a great way to get to the train station "outside normal schedule".

    Oh, and 30 euro for the Bügelbrett - not that much, for Germany. They really commonly run in that range, 25 to 50 euro depending on quality. Even when you order online and stuff.

  4. A trip that requires an ironing board? When I lived in the U.S. for a year, with office clothes that needed ironing, I managed to avoid buying an iron by doing all my ironing on a folded-up towel on the coffee table or the kitchen counter. You just need to be creative!

  5. I hear you .... I like the 5-5R thingy, where you get off on the Bismarckplatz going in one direction, but you have to walk around the corner of Kaufhof if you want to go back ... otherwise you find yourself on the way to Mannheim. And any time I am on the last train that can get me to the Hauptbahnhof on time, it goes "Betriebhof" on me. RNV ... Really Not Viable.

  6. Hey dude ---I think you are doing a great job with good old Rhein Neckar Verkehr and all the little 'ins and outs' of Heidelberg ("Heidelbersch"),
    including that the German mind would think 'Leerfahrt' is a waste of a trip and they let people ride along - not that often that they give you a freebee anyways. Hey, keep writing. I love to read your stuff, reminds me of my own struggles here in the U.S. with my German mind trying to figure out the East coast culture.

  7. your field trips always sound amazing because you are going to places like BISMARCKPLATZ. it sounds like a word they made up on that cartoon ducktales.

  8. mike b:

    The thing with Line 5/5R stopping at different places depending on direction - won't last long anymore.

    They're currently finishing up a 2-year construction site in Neuenheim. By early/mid September, line 23 and 5 should go straight across the bridge and through Neuenheim again.
    And line 21 will be reintroduced then, which will at long last get from Bismarckplatz to HBf by train every 5 minutes again.

  9. Anon: 30 EUR is pretty crazy I think...we don't need the extra cord, shelf, cord hanging pole, etc etc etc....bare bones are cool w/ me when it comes to ironing boards! But they didn't have one like that!

    Other Anon: They told us to bring dressy stuff, and we never ironed since getting here so it was all wrinkly from being packed long ago...I've thought about the counter thing but husband, who was going to iron his shirts himself, really dislikes that idea! And I don't think our crappy coffee table could take it ;)

    Mike B: To "go Betriebhof" may be my new favorite phrase! This happened to us with a bus one night...sucked big time, we had to walk back to the Hbf and then wait because we'd missed the next one!

    Third anon: So where is your blog? ;) I'd like to hear your stories!

    Sara: You will definitely get your fill of the Bismarckplatz if you come visit!


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