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Low cost trains: Flixbus takes to the tracks

Low cost trains : Flixbus takes to the tracks

New low-cost train travel will soon offer up competition to established industry leader Deutsche Bahn. “Flixtrain”, a spin-off of “Flixbus”, plans to have 28 destinations connected by train routes.

Deutsche Bahn will soon have some competition on long distance routes. Beginning March 24, the bus company Flixbus will offer regular train routes between Cologne and Hamburg. “Flixtrain” is the name of the spin-off company of Flixbus, which has progressed from newbie to nearly a monopoly in long-distance buses within just a few years. The company says it will add routes from Stuttgart to Berlin in mid-April. On Tuesday in Munich, it announced that a total of 28 destinations would be connected via Flixtrain. Included in the mix are some cities in the Ruhr area and in Baden-Württemberg, for example.

Low prices are expected to attract customers on both bus and train. The cheapest tickets cost 9.99 euros. The managing director Axel Schwämmlein said, “With Flixbus, we have already proven that mobility does not have to be expensive.” Bookings are made on the internet, at Flixbus shops or in cooperating travel agencies. For those who purchase their ticket on the train, conductors take an "onboard price", which is likely higher than tickets bought in advance. According to the company, booking via the Flixbus app is also cheaper for those who are spontaneous. The regular ticket from Deutsche Bahn for the route between Hamburg and Cologne costs around 90 euros, but they offer much cheaper tickets too.

Visually, the trains will definitely be eye-catching. Just as the buses are painted bright green, the train cars will follow suit - even if they don’t belong to the company. On the connection from north to west, the partner Bahn Touristik Express out of Nuremberg operates the trains. Between Baden-Württemberg and Berlin, the Czech train company Leo Express is responsible for the train traffic. Flixbus has already successfully introduced this business model in bus transport.

Flixtrain plans to gradually expand its range of train services. In summer, additional trains will be added between Stuttgart and Berlin. For the timetable change in December, the company has applied for additional routes, which it doesn’t want to name yet.

(Orig. text: Wolfgang Mulke / Translation: ck)