Intercity trains held together by duct tape

Over the last couple of year’s I’ve mostly really enjoyed traveling by train through Austria. The modern regional express trains and RailJets are awesome. The Intercity trains, sadly, not so much. Last weekend we want to travel to our vacation destination on the IC512 (Graz - Salzburg). Even before reaching the first stop (Leoben) we had accumulated 30 minutes in delay (Leoben in only about 45min from Graz). At one point there was a weird smell in the air like burnt metal and at every stop the crew went through all the cars to check something.

We had a connecting train later on with only 4 minutes to switch. Obviously, that didn’t work and so we rode our bikes for about 2 hours to get to our destination. We had a plan B that worked but many others on that train didn’t and looks like any attempts to organize a replacement bus service failed, too.

Every time we relied on ICs in the past, we ran into some weird delay and trains that felt that they were only kept together because the crew put a lot of effort into it. On both the IC512 and also an IC we took last September the crew was completely at their limit as they couldn’t do anything to make things better and some passengers were (rightfully) upset about the massive delays and the condition the train was in.

Like as if those trains required tons of duct tape. Combined with completely crowded second-class wagons and empty first-class ones the Austrian raleway services aren’t doing themselves any service on these routes. I’m really curious if our return trip (which might also again involve a train from Salzburg to Graz) will be more reliable again.

This post inspired...