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I missed a connecting train because of 5 mins delay with the previous train. My train from from Stuttgart HBF to Berlin HBF, however, there was a change at Hannover Hbf.

I have received an email with the subject line: Your connection in Hannover Hbf will not be reached

Check this content of the email please:

Email from DB

I received this email Sunday, Oct. 23, 11:23 PM:

Your connection in Hannover HBf will not be reached

Change is not possible

Good evening Bawa Singh,

on your today's journey from Stuttgart Hbf to Berlin Hbf the connection in Hannover Hbf will probably not be reached. Please use the button "Find an alternative connection" to get your next possible connections. You can end the travel assistance for this journey by following the link below.

Sincerely yours

Deutsche Bahn

next possible connection was after really long time, so instead of that, I booked a bus and traveled to my destination.

Now my question is, what does this email exactly means? Does it mean that it is my responsibility to find out the alternative next connection to reach my destination and Deutsche Bahn really does not care and also not responsible for any inconvenience? Should I ask them for the refund? or at least the reimbursement for the bus journey? Am I eligible for that?

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    What is a "really long time"? 2 hours? 6 hours? 24 hours?
    – gerrit
    Oct 25, 2022 at 6:30
  • @gerrit OP booked the last connection from Hannover to Berlin on Sunday evening (see top right of their screenshot), the next ICE would have departed 2:37 Monday morning, about 3 hours later.
    – Erik
    Oct 25, 2022 at 11:39
  • If you miss the last connection of the day doesn't the railway have to provide you with alternative transport? Or wouldn't in this case the connecting train just have waited? Oct 25, 2022 at 20:13

2 Answers 2

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If you miss a connection (by no fault of your own), you can take any train that goes next.

next possible connection was after really long time,

That is very odd. Hannover to Berlin is one of the busiest routes in Germany and a high speed train goes every half hour unless it's the middle of the night and even then they have good coverage. Any bus being faster than the next train seems very unusual.

Does it means that it is my responsibility to find out the alternative next connection to reach my destination

Yes. You can simply pull this up on the Bahn Navigator App and it will give you the next few connections. You can pick whichever you like. If you don't have the app, you need to do this online or just look at the departure board.

Should I ask them for the refund?

Yes. From https://www.bahn.com/en/booking-information/passenger-rights/passenger-rights-in-rail-transport section 3

Refund due to abandonment or cancellation of journey resulting from a delay, train cancellation or missed connection

If the train is expected to arrive at the destination with a delay of at least 60 minutes, you can: abandon the journey and have the entire fare refunded or abandon the journey and have the unused section of the journey refunded in case of partial usage or abandon the journey if it is no longer worthwhile and return to the departure station to have the fare refunded.

Since you abandoned the journey you can ask for a partial refund provided that the next available train would have arrived more than 60 minutes after the original arrival time. I don't how the partial refund is calculated.

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  • 1
    You can pick whichever you like — that's 98% true; I think OP would have to pick a DB or related train, which means 98% of trains; OP cannot pick Flixtrain.
    – gerrit
    Oct 25, 2022 at 6:30
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    The email has a date of Sunday, 11:23PM. I had a quick look, and missing the 23:31 train seems bad indeed.
    – Carsten S
    Oct 25, 2022 at 10:20
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    @CarstenS Fair point. If you miss the 23:31pm train but happen to catch the 23:50 Flixbus you actually do get there a couple of hours earlier. There is a train at 2:31am but for some strange reason it's super slow despite being an ICE
    – Hilmar
    Oct 25, 2022 at 12:49
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    @Hilmar Night time is popular for track maintenance. Many night trains have slow timetables to accommodate for time lost due to detours. Last time I took a night train, we were standing still just outside the Hamburg urban area for 40 minutes because we were early.
    – gerrit
    Oct 25, 2022 at 13:10
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    If one does not want to search for a connection themself you can also go to the "DB Information" counter at the train station for alternatives. There might be a waiting time, tho which could lead to you having to take an even later train because you missed one
    – SirHawrk
    Oct 25, 2022 at 14:15
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I want to add two points to Hilmar's answer that were not addressed there:

Now my question is, what does this email exactly means?

A lot of people prefer to know ahead of time that they won't make a connection. In case of a short delay, it might save them some running across a station, only to see the train leaving as they reach the platform. In any case, they can use the time on the delayed train to look for alternative connections or make other arrangements. Unfortunately, those predictions are not always correct, especially if the train you're connecting to is coming in from another direction, so you should always double check shortly before arriving at the station.

Does it means that it is my responsibility to find out the alternative next connection to reach my destination?

Yes and no. You shouldn't wait for someone to come and talk to you, it's your responsibility to go and seek help. If you don't have a smartphone (or a bad connection, low battery, whatever) you can try to track down the conductor while still on the train and ask them. Alternatively, you can always wait until you reach the station, go to the service counter and ask the staff there to search an alternative connection for you. However, both options will almost certainly take longer than just checking the app yourself.

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  • In some cases, I've noticed the service counter being closed (maybe it's late night), but announcers still being somewhere on the station. They could be hard to find, but often sit in some cabinet/shed on a platform, and are, in my experience, happy to help (just knock on the door).
    – gerrit
    Oct 25, 2022 at 6:33

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