FAQ

Last update:

Financing

I missed your Startnext crowdfunding campaign. Is it still possible to buy ticket vouchers and campaign goodies?

On January the 29th, 2016, our Startnext crowdfunding campaign, during which we were selling railway tickets and goodies, was successfully finished. But new ticket vouchers and goodies are now available in our crowdfunding shop. In the beginning of November these vouchers, as well as the ones bought in our Startnext crowdfunding campaign can also be redeemed for sepcific tickets including reservation. The information about the exact date is also going to be published in our Newsletter.

How can I support Locomore?

You can still financially support Locomore by subscribing for a subordinated loan with the minimum amount of 1000 € (see also locomore.com/invest). For more ideas to how to support us in a non-financial way click here.

Tickets and tariffs

When does the sale of tickets start?

You can buy ticket vouchers in our crowdfunding shop, which, as well as the ones bought in our Startnext crowdfunding campaign, can be redeemed in the beginning of November for sepcific tickets including reservation via our booking platform on locomore.com. The information about the exact date is also going to be published in our Newsletter

How are the Locomore tickets sold?

At the moment we are selling ticket vouchers through our crowdfunding shop. They can be redeemed in the beginning of November for sepcific tickets including reservation via our booking platform on locomore.com. By then it will be also possible to buy train tickets through our website, via our booking app or with our sales partners, for whom we are still looking for, in the cities of our regular stops.

Is it possible to buy tickets on the train?

Yes, you can certainly buy train tickets from our friendly train staff.

What payment methods do you accept?

You can pay with your credit card, immediate money transfer, PayPal or debit balance when you book your ticket through our website. On-board we presumably accept cash, credit cards as well as Maestro cards. Our sales partners decide themselves about which payment methods they offer to their customers.

What is your pricing system?

The final price of the train ticket depends on the moment of your booking. The earlier you book, the higher are your chances to get a cheaper ticket. Tickets are available from 7 € (for shorter distances), from 13 € (for medium distances) and 22 € (for long distances). The maximum price you pay for a Locomore-ticket will always be cheaper than half of the regular price of the Deutsche Bahn, hence below the BahnCard 50 Flexprice.

Children under the age of 14 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Small groups with children of 4 persons (e. g. families) can normally book a compartment for themselves without any extra costs. However, in peak times (like Friday afternoon) we charge a moderately extra of 15 €.

How is it possible that you can offer such reasonable prices?

For different reasons we can offer such reasonable prices: due to an estimated occupancy of 60 % up to 70 %, we can distribute the costs of the train operation around more passengers. Compared with the ICE, we save energy and costs because Locomore’s maximum speed is 200 km/h. Since Locomore is not bound to an hourly time grid, but only runs one direction per day, we pay the lower economy price for track access charges. Finally, as a start-up we work on the principle of efficient and lean structures.

Is it possible to use my Deutsche Bahn ticket on the Locomore train? Can I use my Locomore ticket on local trains during access and return travel?

As long as there is no general basic price for all railway companies in Germany, Locomore tickets are unfortunately only valid on the Locomore train. Yet, we are working on recognizing Deutsche Bahn tickets (long-distance) on the Locomore train, provided that the Deutsche Bahn ensures equitable conditions for Locomore. Thereby, passenger could use one ticket (regardless of the particular provider) on the connecting train to the Locomore train. In any case, train passengers can book tickets that are valid on all connecting trains of the Deutsche Bahn on Trainline. Trainline makes it possible to find and book cheap tickets that can be used on all trains in Europe.

Are you planning on offering a service comparable to the City-Ticket?

Whether there will be a City-Ticket (included use of local public transport at point of departure and arrival) for Locomore is not yet decided. We will collect in-depth customer feedback on this issue. We could purchase this feature from the local transport associations. But this would have to be reflected in our prices, too. The prices for this additional function are based on surveys on user frequency and therefore differ between 1,50 € to 3 € (for flow and follow-up), depending on the city and the transport association.

Do the passenger rights apply to Locomore?

As the German passenger rights are set by law they also apply to the Locomore train. In case of an expected delay of more than 20 minutes, passengers can hop on another train. Corresponding agreements exist already and Locomore follows those agreements, too. According to this, Locomore pays compensation in case the train is more than 60 minutes delayed.

Does Locomore accept the pass for severely disabled persons on the train?

The Locomore train is a long distance train. In the long-distance rail segment, severely disabled persons have essentially no claim to free rail transport. People who are entitled to be accompanied by an assistant exempt from travel charges, can of course do so on Locomore trains.

Service and facilities

Can I purchase food and beverages on board or is there a dining car?

There will be a meal service at your seat. We offer cold and hot beverages as well as snacks at fair prices. The products are predominantly organic and fairly traded.

Will the WiFi onboard be reliable?

That is the plan! There are several different challenges in getting the train online and connecting the passengers to the internet. The challenges start with the velocity and size of the train and end with network coverage in the different localities. We are using state-of-the-art technology to provide the best possible service, however external circumstances limit our options. For financial reasons, the only option for the connection of the train to the internet is via mobile phone networks, since any other options would be too cost-intensive. Where there is no mobile reception, the train will not be able to connect to the net either. To minimise this and to increase bandwidth, our trains will connect to all mobile phone networks simultaneously.

Through the train network, we will provide you with additional offline information and offers independently of the current internet connection quality.

Are your train compartments air-conditioned?

People have different needs regarding this subject. For that reason, we run compartments with and without air conditioning. Passenger can decide when booking their tickets, whether they want to travel in air-conditioned compartments or in a compartment without air-conditioning but windows that can be opened.

What facilities and services are you planning for families with babies, infants and children?

According to demand, we will provide a flexible number of family compartments equipped with books and toy boxes. Children up until the age of 14 travel free if accompanied. Small groups with children with at least four people, e.g. families, can normally book their own compartment without extra charge. During peak times, e.g. Friday afternoon, the compartment booking will be priced with a moderate surcharge of 15 €. Additionally for children of the age of five and older we offer a travel service for unaccompanied minors.

Are your trains barrier-free?

Since we are operating modernised older train models, our first train will not fulfill the current requirements for accessibility completely. We attempt to provide accessibility to the extent possible. We are still in the planning stages in this regard and will present a result in autumn.

Can I take my bicycle with me on the Locomore train?

Yes, you can bring your bicycle for a small extra charge on the Locomore train. The number of bicycles, however, is restricted owing to space constraints. Therefore, you have to make an obligatory reservation for your bike beforehand.

Is it possible to bring pets on board?

Yes, you can bring your cats and dogs on the Locomore train. We have to sort out the details of this service. We will publish the particulars of the arrangement before the official ticket booking start in September.

Network, route and stops

Can you offer a connection from/to, a stop in...?

We are getting a lot of requests like this and it shows us that the time is right for a new railway company in long-distance railway transportation. Of course, it is in general possible to set up additional connections to our already planned ones (see here). But since our financial capacities are limited, we are forced to prioritize and cannot get started everywhere. When our first train is going to be rolling successfully and therefore a basis for a promising expansion is created, we are hopefully going to be able to start the operation of our other planned routes. Depending on the pool of potential passengers and the extended travel time we are also going to consider other possible additional stops (e.g. Weinheim, Wiesloch-Walldorf) for the timetable change 2017 then. Nevertheless this will not be possible for stops not being on the route (e.g. Bad Hersfeld) or in case of routes and stops being assessed as significantly overburdened (e.g. Berlin-Spandau).

Which additional connections are you planning?

We are planning an additional journey on the connection Stuttgart-Berlin (the opposite train) if the original connection is commercially successful. Further connections are planned between Berlin and Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich as well as Berlin and Rügen. The schedules for these connections are already reserved with DB Netz AG. For a route network display, please click here.

Is Locomore also planning to run night trains in the future?

We consider the decision of the Deutsche Bahn to stop operating their overnight trains a bitter loss for the variety of alternative travel possibilities. As we are convinced that there will be a steady demand for overnight trains on popular routes, and that railway companies could operate in this business without having to receive substitutions, we hope that the DB openly and fairly gives rolling stock and leeway to interested railway companies who want to continue running the overnight segment with sufficient transitional periods. In the future, we could imagine getting involved with overnight trains. At the moment, launching our operations, however, has priority. For this purpose, everything is prepared and ready to be implemented. In the course of ongoing discussion about the development of rail track charges in 2017, we clearly marked our position concerning of lowering rail track charges for overnight tracks, since we want that this segment has a viable future.

Is there the possibility to use Locomore on the segment between Berlin-Lichtenberg and Berlin Zoo?

Unfortunately, this will not be possible. In order to guarantee a smooth procedure, our passengers have to have the opportunity to quickly get on board and respectively off board. If we offered city tickets on the Locomore train for only Berlin, transfer time at the particular railway stations in Berlin would probably rise due to higher density of passenger traffic in Berlin.

Technical details

Which locomotive series are you going to operate?

Presumably a Taurus (BR 182).

Which passenger carriages are you going to operate?

We will use RIC coaches with a maximum velocity of 200 km/h and an emergency brake override system. There will be classical compartment coaches and air-conditioned coaches divided in compartments and a saloon. The saloon has new, modern seats. All coaches are equipped with tables, power sockets and WiFi.

Is Locomore building its own train tracks?

No since this would make neither ecologically nor economically sense given the existing tracks. As part of the so-called rail reform 20 years ago, the liberalisation of the rail transport contained the organisational separation of track management and train operation within the Deutsche Bahn Corporation. Within the Deutsche Bahn Corporation, DB Netz AG manages the lines and tracks. The operation of trains is open to all railway companies under the same conditions as the Deutsche Bahn.

Is the Deutsche Bahn allowing you to use its tracks?

Yes, the DB Netz AG is legally obliged to do so. We have adopted so-called framework agreements with DB Netz AG, which secure our scheduled lines from 2016 until 2020.

Will you arrive on time in Berlin and Stuttgart? The lines of the DB are filled with a lot of trains after all.

The rail network in Germany is used to capacity in principle, in particular at the major transport hubs. Our schedule was designed by DB Netz AG according to our specifications as far as possible and thus can be operated during normal operation without delay. The turning time for our train in Berlin is calculated with more than 1 hour, which should suffice to balance delays up to 45 minutes without causing delay for the opposite train. Cause for delay are often disturbances in the infrastructure of DB Netz (e.g. interlocking disturbances etc.). If such disturbances occur, there is little we can do beyond informing our passengers and supporting them in the minimisation of negative effects on their further travel planning (providing them with information etc.). Of course sometimes the train themselves are cause for delay. Locomotives can have technical defects, etc. We will do everything we can to prevent or minimise delays due to our operation.

Hence, our trains will not always operate without delays, but we will do our best to prevent them in areas we can control directly or indirectly.

Will your train have to switch direction in Hanover? Are you planning to use a control car or will you change locomotives?

Our connection is via Hanover-Linden and the Ahlemer Kurve. We will enter Hanover Hbf from the West. We do not need to use a control car or to change our locomotive.

Isn’t there a high demand on the segment between Hanover and Fulda already? Does Locomore force out other trains on this route?

The fast route segment between Hanover and Fulda is highly frequented, but is not a so called over-burdened route, yet. This means that there are still free capacities which we use in addition to the existing railway traffic.

How do you run between Berlin Lichtenberg and Berlin Ostbahnhof? Since there is no direct connection between the two railway stations in Berlin?

Locomore goes from Berlin-Ostbahnhof via Berlin-Rummelsburg, the former Ostbahn and the Biesdorfer Kreuz to/from Berlin-Lichtenberg.

Why are you only using high-speed lines and don't connect to e.g. Heilbronn, Magdeburg, Potsdam and/or Wannsee?

The rail network capacities are partially overburdened. To guarantee that we obtain train paths at attractive travel times, our schedule development occurs along the traffic bottlenecks in the network. Furthermore, we focus our first train connection on being commercially successful in order to be able to provide further connections. A routing through the listed cities would be based on a fundamentally different concept and would result in significantly prolonged travel times. Circulation in particular would be prolonged and thus the costs would increase. Due to these reasons, we decided to focus on the faster alternative for now.

The company Locomore

Are you already registered as a railway company?

Yes we are.

Will you operate the train yourself?

Presumably train operation, meaning the provision of locomotives and their operating personnel as wells as train operation, will be provided by an external carrier company. For these services the company Hector Rail is going to be our partner.

Are you looking for train drivers and other train personnel?

In general yes. A list of open positions and further information regarding the application process can be found here. Train drivers are going to be employees of Hector Rail, our carrier.

What is the relationship between Locomore and Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX)?

Locomore played a major role in the initiation phase of the Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX) and was a founding shareholder of the Hamburg-Köln-Express GmbH holding a share of 17.5 % in 2009. Due to fundamental differences with the American HKX majority investor RDC regarding the strategic direction, Locomore and HKX separated in 2012. With effect on 31 December 2012, Locomore transferred its share of 17.5 % in the Hamburg-Köln-Express GmbH to the HKX-Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG. A few of the Locomore shareholders still hold personal shares of about 34.68 % in the latter thus indirectly holding a share of 6 % of HKX through the holding company. As a result, the company Locomore has no commercial influence on HKX since the end of 2012.

How is the relationship between Locomore and the Deutsche Bahn?

The Deutsche Bahn and Locomore have a shared history. Locomore was significantly involved in the development of the Hamburg-Köln-Express (here). In this context, Hamburg-Köln-Express and DB Netz AG little by little resolved some conflicts with respect to slots in the framework contracts and prices for infrastructure owing to persistence, by initiating opposition proceedings, through the regulatory authorities, and finally and partially by decision of the courts in the final instance. Today, we have a principally cooperative and professional relationship with the DB Netz AG, even if different opinions on certain topics remain.

Fair, ecological, social, transparent

What wages are you paying your staff?

We will develop a collective pay structure, which allows for a fair payment of our staff in the context of the realities of a small medium-sized company. The tariffs will follow in principle collective agreements customary in the industry. We additionally strive to adopt regulations, which allow our staff to increase their share in our commercial success.

From which company will you get your green power?

The tendering process for the green power will start in the next days. We will only consider companies which either have been certified by the association Grüner Strom Label e.V. or which have been classified as generally trustworthy providers by environmental associations. These currently include Energiewerke Schönau, Greenpeace Energy, Lichtblick and Naturstrom and Polarstern. Environmental associations promote these providers since they do not have shares in nuclear or coal-fired power plants and because they invest in new plants.