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Just-Thinking-51

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Passenger Train Journal, and Trains Magazine have stories that state Flix Trains was planning new routes, but now are looking at shutting down all train based services.

Just as I break open my piggy bank and buy a several HO scale coaches and a motor to pull them around my basement empire.

I know the history but wonder if any one had a recent experience with this outfit. Did they get the Locomore coaches to have working toilets?
 

20th Century Rider

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I came across this flixtrain travel report just yesterday, a trip taken on 8th of August this year, so very up to date...
Journey from Berlin to Dortmund.

Flix Train trip report youtube...
Their website didn't say anything about shutting down. Really impressed with every part of the video... the train itself was sparkling and appeared smooth riding [of course in part due to German track engineering.] Makes me long for Europe... just give me one day for train spotting at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof!

 

Just-Thinking-51

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That the issue with a paper magazine, the information is old by the time it reaches your mailbox. Glad they were able to address there issues. Sadly the new refurbished equipment has a different paint job than the model coaches that I am having deliver...
 

jamesontheroad

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FlixTrain suspended operations in Germany during the start of the coronavirus lockdown. However, around the same time - and possibly while FlixTrain attempted to use the Covid situation to leverage better financial terms - Rail Development Corporation's (RDC) German subsidiary BahnTouristikExpress (BTE) ended their relationship with Flixtrain. We don't know the details, but it sounded acrimonious.

Moving with impressive speed, BTE subsequently launched their own overnight service, the new Alpen-Sylt NachtExpress which connects the north-western German island of Sylt with Salzburg in Austria. One of their employees is the man behind the Rail Guide Europe Twitter account. He has also written this article about the new night train (many of the carriages are still in basic FlixTrain colours). In that article, he reports that BTE has plans in place to launch other services next year.

Now, Flixtrain contracts operation of line 20 (Köln-Hamburg) to IGE and line 30 (Köln-Berlin) to SVG. Both are using former DB Regio rolling stock, refurbished by Talbot Services in Aachen (Bmmz and Bmmdz).

There are a couple of trip reports on YouTube from the last six-nine months which show FlixTrain. The one published by Dylan's Trip Reports shows off the "new" refurbished carriages.

BTE's rolling stock included a lot of compartment/couchettes that FlixTrain used exclusively in day time configuration... their Alpen-Sylt Nacht Express is arguably a better use for the couchettes. The "new" FlixTrain rolling stock is part of a huge new fleet of 135 carriages being refurbished by Talbot. Using thinner seats and reduced seat pitches the seating capacity of each car has been increased from 60 to 100. Something to bear in mind is - as far as I know - that the new cars do not have air conditioning.
 

jamesontheroad

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Quick PS. FlixTrain have applied to Trafikverket - the Swedish Transportation Administration - to start domestic passenger rail services on the Stockholm - Gothenburg and Stockholm - Malmö corridors in 2021. The operation of trains will most likely be contracted to Hector Rail, who have already have a small fleet of passenger rolling stock. I don't know whether the "new" (ex-DB Regio) carriages would be compatible in Sweden.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Thanks “jamesontheroad”. With a extra shoutout to the links in your posting.

The plot thickens...
 

Just-Thinking-51

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So in recap FlixBus and FlixTrain are not a operating company. FlixBus owns one bus just so they can be legally be a bus company. The Flix business is reservations, surge pricing, and collections. Think Uber. It’s subcontracts out all transportation services. The train coach, motors, OBS staff, and T-E can are different companies. With some companies providing multiple services other more limited.

The reason PTJ and Trains were reporting issues was they demand new terms to there contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There back running trains because they found a new player to run these trains.

If course the Flix brand has paint and service levels in there contracts.

A great read was the links that James provided. Thanks again for the time and effort to post in these thread.
 

jamesontheroad

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So in recap FlixBus and FlixTrain are not a operating company. FlixBus owns one bus just so they can be legally be a bus company. The Flix business is reservations, surge pricing, and collections. Think Uber. It’s subcontracts out all transportation services. The train coach, motors, OBS staff, and T-E can are different companies. With some companies providing multiple services other more limited.
Yes. I'm not sure about the bus-ownership situation - maybe that depends on local regulations in certain EU member states.

Flixbus describes itself as "a young mobility provider ... a combination of tech-startup, e-commerce-platform and transportation company". Not a bus company or train company, a mobility provider. Just like Ford now says that their corporate purpose is "to revolutionize mobility", presumably by abandoning the sale of smaller fuel-efficient cars and only selling trucks and Mustangs. ;)

In all seriousness, this is the lowest-risk model for a new "operator" to enter into the passenger rail market. Little or no financial risk, and the opportunity to play operators off one another to get the lowest possible price. Like Megabus in the UK in the 2000s, Flixtrain started out with old / second-hand vehicles that had already been amortized, so with relatively little up-front investment. As the brand has grown, they've been able to invest in more modern vehicles.

They are unlikely to really upset DB on long-distance routes. They may be cheaper, but DB still has the advantage in terms of on-board service, etc, and the DB BahnCard is widespread in Germany, incentivising customer loyalty.
 
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