End of the line for luxury German train

21st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 October 2004 , BERLIN - The Metropolitan, a luxury German express train that offered business travellers armchair-style seats, airline-style meals and free newspapers, is to be scrapped, Deutsche Bahn announced Thursday. The plush train, which shuttles in three-and-a-half hours between Hamburg and Cologne, will make its last run 12 December, five years after being put into service as a challenge to airlines flying between the two cities. The airlines won. Achim Stauss, a spokesman for Germany's main rai

21 October 2004

BERLIN - The Metropolitan, a luxury German express train that offered business travellers armchair-style seats, airline-style meals and free newspapers, is to be scrapped, Deutsche Bahn announced Thursday.

The plush train, which shuttles in three-and-a-half hours between Hamburg and Cologne, will make its last run 12 December, five years after being put into service as a challenge to airlines flying between the two cities.

The airlines won.

Achim Stauss, a spokesman for Germany's main railways company, said it was proving uneconomic to continue. He gave no figures, but said low-cost airlines sucked away the passengers and forced the operator, a Deutsche Bahn subsidiary, to offer ruinous discounts.

Germany has made numerous efforts to revive the great age of rail, pointing out that the pollution from trains is far less per passenger than that from cars or planes. But Deutsche Bahn continues to run at a loss.

The Metropolitan, operating three times daily in each direction, could cover the distance half an hour faster than Germany's hourly Intercity Express (ICE) bullet trains because it made only two stops.

DPA

Subject: German news

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