Mistakes you don’t want to make: train from Bacharach to Munich, Germany

Our train schedule

 I pre-booked online our train ride from Bacharach to Munich a while ago, back in Bangkok. I remembered that the train ride requires two changes of train

But, I overlooked short transit time for our first leg. We needed to get our first train from Bacharach to Mainz Hbf. At Mainz Hbf, we needed to get into our connecting train to Karlsruhe Hbf, within five minutes!

Train delay e-alert

 I was already worry about the five minutes transit time. And when we were in Bacharach, I received an e-mail alert of train delay, which added on to my anxiety.

Timetable info printed using ticketing machine

 At Bacharach train station, their ticket machine  allowed us to check on alternative routes, and also to print out the schedules. I did that, just in case if we do get into problem for missing our connecting train.

Bacharach is a small station, with only two platforms. We were overjoyed when a train came into the platform exactly at 13:36, and indicated as heading towards Mainz. We did ‘t see any train number nor info board, so assumed that was our train. No delay, so we just had to make sure we catch our connecting train to Karlsruhe.

But the train was taking forever, and we arrived at Mainz Hbf at 14:26 (instead of 14:08). Our connecting train at 14:13 already left by then.

We went to their info / ticket booth .. got lectured a little bit, and only then that I realized that we got into a wrong train at Bacharach. I suspected we got into a Regionalbahn (RB) train, which stopped at all stations, instead of a Regional Express (RE) train.

Original ticket


Revised schedule

 No harm done, the not-so-pleasant ticketing staff issued us a new schedule, and also scribbled some notes on my original ticket. All in German with one exclamation mark … hopefully, nothing sarsasctic written.

We arrived one hour later than our intended arrival time, sans extra payment. Lesson learnt, so please becareful at small train stations in Germany.


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.

5 thoughts on “Mistakes you don’t want to make: train from Bacharach to Munich, Germany

  • October 11, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for the great tips.

    • October 11, 2015 at 10:40 am


  • November 11, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Thanks for your sharing.
    I am planning to travel to Munich from Bacharach YHA.Can I ask how can we difference Regional barn (RB) train with Regional Express (RE) train.

    • November 11, 2015 at 10:35 am

      Hi Sherllyn,

      Glad that my misadventure helps you in your trip planning 🙂

      I think it’ll be difficult for us (tourists) to recognize the RB and RE trains. The regional trains are usually red with white or gray markings, with slight differentiation. After my mishap, I also looked for photos online, but both trains look the same to me. See the photos shown on DB Bahn’s website here https://www.bahn.de/p_en/view/trains/overview/regional-trains.shtml?dbkanal_007=L01_S02_D002_KIN0001_top-navi-flyout-trains-regional_LZ001

      Your best bet would be:
      1) LED-type destination signs on the front and outside of the train carriage
      2) LED-type destination signs at the train platform (which shows arrival train)
      3) I would also ask locals at the platforms, to be doubly sure.

      I just sent DB Bahn an email, will let you know when (and if) they reply.

      Happy traveling!


      • November 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        Hi Sherllyn,

        They have taken the trouble to reply to my email to them.
        Accordingly, a Regionalbahn (RB) runs more slowly than a Regional-Express and stops at all stations on route. There is no visual difference between Regionalbahn and Regional-Express that runs under the Deutsche Bahn.

        Hope this helps and happy traveling!


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