Nine Euro tickets: a little cultural history of the railways |

Status: 01/06/2022 07:05 AM

There has been a lot of excitement over the past few weeks about the €9 ticket. Many artists have been positively inspired by the railways: this is documented through the small cultural history of the railways.

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by Ocke Bandixen

Arrival of “The Blue Train” by John Coltrane. Dark blues that build and get a little more powerful. Quite different is Gioacchino Rossini’s “fantasy” about the railways. Equally powerful and commanding. Because that’s what writers, musicians, and composers have always liked about railways: the seemingly unstoppable motion, the rhythm that develops as you drive.

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Someone is standing in front of a ticket vending machine with nine euros in his hand.  © picture alliance Photo: Daniel Kubirski

The €9 ticket is still available until August 31. Where is it applied and what is planned next? Answers to important questions. more

The organized nature of the railways is fantastically incompatible with the wild nature

The straight, orderly, and calculable aspects of railways were often contrasted with the unknown and the wilderness in books and films. In the West, civilization is advancing with the construction of railways. The Trans-Siberian Railway brings light and order deep into Russia. The Middle East became navigable only for wealthy Western Europeans using the Orient Express. In “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie, the train becomes the perfect crime scene: an enclosed, civilized room in a strange place – railroad romance included.

The railway as a symbol of a predetermined destiny

Justin Kerner wrote “Walzer Orient-Express” in 1852. A poem as a warning to contemporaries.

Do you hear the loud whistle?
The animal snores, arms itself,
Iron, to the train, to the fasting person,
It roared like a thunderstorm.
Justinus Kerner

After the initial fear and slow getting used to the steam of the steel horse, the railways became a symbol of modernity and progress. Life as if on the rails – especially in literature, the train often becomes a symbol of a predetermined fate, as with rail hostess Thiel, Jurij Schiwago or Anna Karenina.

The Most Peaceful Railroad Story: “Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver”

Technology appears to be threatened with destructive power. “4.50 PM from Paddington”, “12 PM”, “3:10 AM – Death Train to Yuma”: Escalating to a specific time – a powerful medium for drama. And sometimes life goes a completely different path. Whether on the “night train to Lisbon” or from berth nine and three quarters. As Eric Kastner wrote:

We are all on the same train
And time travel.
We are looking forward. We’ve seen enough.
We are all on the same train.
And no one knows to what extent.
Eric Kaestner

“Peace Train”, “Slow Train”, “Chattanooga Cho-cho” or “Special Train to Pankow”, the train also brings something good in many songs: hope. Ultimately, perhaps the most peaceful and perhaps the most philosophical railroad story is that of “Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver”. Because this train is not going anywhere. He just wants to drive.

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A bus driver gives the customer his ticket of nine euros on the Hamburg bus.  © dpa / Markus Scholz Photo: Markus Scholz

The ticket is valid throughout Germany in June, July and August for local and regional transfers. High pre-sale numbers have been reported. more


Inexpensive monthly bus and train tickets are now valid. We explain the conditions under which it can be used. more

Intercity is located near the main train station in Hamburg.  © dpa Photo: Daniel Reinhardt

On the road, IC is designated as a local train. However, it cannot be used with a nine-euro ticket. more

Several people stand in front of the ticket vending machine at Hamburg Central Station.  © IMAGO / Hanno Bode Photo: IMAGO / Hanno Bode

However, more for inland tourism, not necessarily for islands. Accommodations there have been booked in advance. more

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Culture NDR | Classic a day | 01/06/2022 | 06:20 AM

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